LEE Westwood had a steady start to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic but still finds himself six shots behind leader Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain.
In the final of three European Tour events played on the Arabian Peninsula, Westwood, from Worksop, has put himself in contention to pick up his first win of 2012.
The 38-year-old began his round at the 10th hole and reached the turn in three under after birdies at the 13th, 17th and 18th. A bogey at the fourth, his 13th hole, was followed by another birdie and the fifth as he came home in level par to be tied 20th.
Sheffield’s Danny Willett had four birdies and three bogeys in his one under par 71 to be 54th on the leaderboard.
Worksop’s Mark Foster faces a fight to make the cut after a disappointing opening round of three over par, which featured no birdies.
World No 2 Rory McIlroy, who may overtake Luke Donald at the top of the world rankings next month, finished the day at six under par level with Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.