Quartet lead the way at Hero Dubai Desert Classic

Former champion Li Haotong continued his recent return to form as he carded a 67 to share the lead with Rasmus Højgaard, Andy Sullivan and Cameron Young after day one of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

The Chinese endured a slew of missed cuts while finishing 208th and 238th on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex in 2021 and 2023, either side of a 2022 campaign that saw him claim a third DP World Tour win in Germany.

A top 20 last week hinted at another renaissance with a new swing and new equipment and he followed that with a five under par total over the Emirates Golf Club layout where he lifted the trophy in 2018.

“I think I played just solid as last week,” said Haotong.

“I’ve been working on a lot of stuff during the wintertime and see some result like this, kind of like slowly pay back now.

“Especially after last week, good performance, and I can’t believe it’s six years (since his win here). It’s just had a lot of great memories and hopefully I can continue to do some magic here.”

Dane Højgaard and England’s Sullivan each have four DP World Tour wins as they search for a first Rolex Series triumph, while World Number 25 Young is making his debut in this event.

Rasmus’ twin brother Nicolai, fellow Danes Søren Kjeldsen and Thorbjørn Olesen, South African Louis de Jager, Spaniard Sebastian Garcia, England’s Richard Mansell and Pole Adrian Meronk were then all five back on a congested leaderboard in the United Arab Emirates.

Play was suspended due to fading light with three groups remaining on course. They will restart at 07:45 local time with no change to round two tee times.

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