Dubai Desert Classic: Matt Fitzpatrick in fine position after round one

Danny Willett at the Dubai Desert Classic alongside playing partner Tiger Woods
Danny Willett at the Dubai Desert Classic alongside playing partner Tiger Woods
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Danny Willett made a steady if unspectacular start to the defence of his Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.

Playing alongside the returning Tiger Woods and fellow Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick, Masters champion Willett fired a one under par 71 to sit six shots off overnight leader Sergio Garcia.

Starting on the tenth, Willett carded birdies on 13 and 18 but made no further inroads during his round, with a bogey on five taking him back to -1.

Alongside him, Fitzpatrick fared better, finishing on three under par.

The 21-year-old opened his round with back-to-back birdies and sandwiched a bogey with another two midway through the front nine.

Another birdie on three put him in a strong position before a bogey on the seventh dropped him back to -3 and a tie for 13th place.

Plenty of eyes were on former world number one Woods, who faces a struggle to make the cut after carding a five over par 77 to sit in a tie for 122nd.

The trio will tee off for their second rounds at 8.35am on Friday.