Welshman Bradley Dredge and Spain’s Alvaro Quiros share the first round lead at Trophée Hassan II after carding five under par first rounds of 67 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.
Dredge began the day with birdies on the first and second holes before a bogey on the fourth hole. The two-time European Tour winner recovered immediately with his third birdie of the day, and carded two more before making the turn four under par.
The 44 year old then birdied the 11th and 12th holes, but bogeyed the 16th to settle for a score of 67.
Quiros started his round with four birdies in his first ten holes. He then dropped a shot on the par three 14th hole, but finished his round with consecutive birdies to join Dredge in a share of first place.
Lorenzo Gagli, winner of the Barclays Kenya Open on the European Challenge Tour just last month, is one of four golfers in a share of third place after a first round of 68.
Oliver Fisher, Joakim Lagergren and Erik van Rooyen join Gagli on four under par.
Austin Connelly, Michael Hoey, Benjamin Rusch, Lee Slattery and Ashun Wu are two strokes behind the leaders after their first rounds of 69.
Bradley Dredge: “I’m very pleased to be leading after the first round. I played nicely all day; so I’m delighted. I was most pleased with my driving I think. I’ve been lacking a bit of consistency and today I drove it on play every hole and hit a lot of fairways. From there, I gave myself a lot of chances.
“I haven’t played a great deal this year, but I feel as though my game is progressing quite well at the moment. I’m pleased with the way it’s trending.
“This place is a very strong course from tee to green, and the greens are difficult. It’s a matter of keeping the ball in play and going from shot to shot.”
Alvaro Quiros: “I have to recognise that it was a great round of golf. My score is good, but I would say that the level of play I displayed today from tee to green was unbelievable. I know that five under is a good score, but it looks like it’s a little bit short for the game that I have displayed today.
“I don’t want to sound cocky but, to be honest, on the first ten holes I missed just one green. I had a lot of chances to shoot lower on the first ten holes.”
Erik van Rooyen: “Obviously, I’m really pleased. I played my front nine extremely well. Really good tee-to-green, and that made it easy. I hit the ball really well with my irons and had a lot of short putts, especially my first nine.
“The back nine was different. Missed a couple more fairways and I guess just didn’t hit it inside ten feet as much. But very satisfied.
“There’s still a long way to go. Keep it in the fairway on this place, you can control the spin coming out of the fairway, which is key to getting it close to some of these pins.”
Scores after round one:
67 A Quiros (Esp) , B Dredge (Wal) ,
68 J Lagergren (Swe) , E Van Rooyen (RSA) , L Gagli (Ita) , O Fisher (Eng) ,
69 W Ashun (Chn) , M Hoey (Nir) , L Slattery (Eng) , B Rusch (Sui) , A Connelly (Can) ,
70 N Elvira (Esp) , S Han (USA) , S Brown (Eng) , A Otaegui (Esp) , M Kieffer (Ger) , D Brooks (Eng) , R Jacquelin (Fra) , N Bertasio (Ita) , S Gallacher (Sco) , A Dodt (Aus) , M Schwab (Aut) , C Shinkwin (Eng) ,
71 J Thomson (Eng) , M Nixon (Eng) , B Hebert (Fra) , J Scrivener (Aus) , A Rai (Eng) , M Siem (Ger) , S Crocker (USA) , M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) , R Langasque (Fra) , W Ormsby (Aus) , D Fichardt (RSA) , R Sterne (RSA) ,
72 P Oriol (Esp) , P Khongwatmai (Tha) , J Luiten (Ned) , N Colsaerts (Bel) , A Sullivan (Eng) , R Karlsson (Swe) , R Fox (Nzl) , C Hanson (Eng) , A Levy (Fra) , G Bourdy (Fra) , J Choi (Kor) , D Lipsky (USA) , P Waring (Eng) , P Widegren (Swe) , M Ilonen (Fin) , M Kinhult (Swe) ,
73 A Chesters (Eng) , J Stalter (Fra) , R Evans (Eng) , L Canter (Eng) , C Syme (Sco) , M Warren (Sco) , T Detry (Bel) , C Bezuidenhout (RSA) , J Guerrier (Fra) , A Cañizares (Esp) , R Paratore (Ita) , J Wang (Kor) , D Burmester (RSA) , R Gouveia (Por) , J Campillo (Esp) , D Willett (Eng) , Y Miyazato (Jpn) , A Marjan (Mar) , J Donaldson (Wal) , D Howell (Eng) , P Angles (Esp) , S Kjeldsen (Den) , M Manassero (Ita) , P Dunne (Irl) , R Wattel (Fra) , R Ramsay (Sco) , A Id-Omar (am) (Mar) ,
74 E Pepperell (Eng) , L Jensen (Den) , D Im (USA) , J Elson (Eng) , M Schneider (Ger) , J Geary (Nzl) , T Pulkkanen (Fin) , A Björk (Swe) , B Stone (RSA) , A Bland (Aus) , R Cho (Kor) , T Pieters (Bel) , J Smith (Eng) , R Rock (Eng) , K El Hali (Mar) , S Horsfield (Eng) ,
75 C Sordet (Fra) , M Pavon (Fra) , J Munro (Aus) , Y Touhami (Mar) , N Geyger (Chi) , C Pigem (Esp) , G Coetzee (RSA) , G Havret (Fra) , M Fraser (Aus) , E Molinari (Ita) , M Korhonen (Fin) , A Lguirati (Mar) , O Farr (Wal) , P Larrazábal (Esp) , A Saddier (Fra) , A Pavan (Ita) , S Fernandez (Esp) , P Lawrie (Sco) , J Norris (Aus) ,
76 J Walters (RSA) , L Joy (Eng) , S Lee (Kor) , J Winther (Den) , J Kruyswijk (RSA) , M Baldwin (Eng) , R McGowan (Eng) , C Wood (Eng) , H Sturehed (Swe) , G Forrest (Sco) , P Hanson (Swe) , R Davies (Wal) , F Aguilar (Chi) , C Koepka (USA) , D Horsey (Eng) , G Green (Mas) , F Zanotti (Par) , T Jaidee (Tha) ,
77 T Aiken (RSA) , S Heisele (Ger) , C Ford (Eng) , S Jamieson (Sco) , Z Lombard (RSA) , T Bjørn (Den) , S Brazel (Aus) , J Heath (Eng) , G Moynihan (Irl) ,
78 L Bjerregaard (Den) , H Porteous (RSA) , C Blomstrand (Swe) , M Foster (Eng) , J Kelly (USA) , B Neil (Sco) ,
79 G Storm (Eng) , J Morrison (Eng) , M Wallace (Eng) , J Dantorp (Swe) ,
80 D Drysdale (Sco) , B Evans (Eng) , A Wall (Eng) ,
81 B Rumford (Aus) , S Gros (Fra) , R Bland (Eng)