Organisers of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic announced the tournament will finish on Monday as world number one amateur Ludvig Aberg and England’s Ian Poulter shared the first-round lead on a weather-affected day yesterday.
Following the decision to close the venue to the public on Thursday due to adverse weather conditions, Emirates Golf Club opened its gates to fans to watch the world-class golf and enjoy a wide variety of entertainment.
Play began at 10am local time due to a flooded course with the majority of players yet to complete or start their opening round because of Thursday’s rain-delayed start. The DP World Tour later announced that the tournament will conclude on Monday. Round Two will finish today while Rounds 3 and 4 are scheduled for tomorrow and Monday, respectively.
Among the players to take to the course were Sweden’s Aberg, who earned an exemption into the Hero Dubai Desert Classic after finishing the Fall college golf season ranked No. 1 in the PGA TOUR University’s Velocity Global Ranking.
He made a dream start to the tournament with a stunning 65, after recovering from a bogey to make eight birdies.
The 23-year-old Swede topped the Round One leaderboard with 12-time DP World Tour winner Poulter, who made a strong start with seven birdies including back-to-back on the 16th and 17th holes.
World number one and two-time Hero Dubai Desert Classic champion McIlroy, America’s Patrick Reed, Spain’s Angel Hidalgo and South Africa’s Louis De Jager are all one shot behind, having carded 66.
McIlroy made an impressive start after struggling on Thursday with a sensational birdie-eagle-birdie finish to fire an opening 66. The Northern Irishman resumed with three holes to play but only needed six shots to finish his round.