DOHA (AFP) – England’s Oliver Fisher shot a brilliant seven-under par 65 to upstage his fancied rivals in the first round of the 2.5 million dollar Qatar Masters on Wednesday.
With the feared strong winds not materialising, the 26-year-old produced a strong finish to put himself in contention for only his second title on the European Tour since turning pro in 2006.
A hat-trick of birdies over the final three holes gave him a one-shot advantage over Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who was sitting pretty on a six-under 66
after taking the clubhouse lead earlier.
Fisher, whose only title so far came at the Czech Open in 2011, had worked up some decent form at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship where he finished tied 12th and seems to have carried it through to Doha.
A bogey on his 13th hole somewhat blemished his effort, but he maintained his composure to close out the round in style.
Earlier, Cabrera-Bello, who missed the playoff last year by one stroke to tie for third for the second time in Doha, started off with two straight birdies and picked up
four more shots in a bogey-free round.
Former winners Ernie Els of South Africa and Paul Lawrie of Scotland were in a bunch of nine players a further shot down after carding bogey-free 67s.