Poulter and Kaymer among leaders after Dubai first round

Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:18am EST
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Germany’s Martin Kaymer and England’s Ian Poulter are among four players tied for the lead after Thursday's first day of the DP World Tour Championship, the $8 million finale of the European season.

The Ryder Cup team mates carded 66 and are joined on six-under by another Englishman, Andy Sullivan, and Australia’s Marcus Fraser.

World number three Rory McIlroy, who began the day top of Europe’s money list and is aiming to be the continent’s top earner for a third year in four, is two shots further back on 68 after chipping in from the bunker to birdie the final hole.

Poulter did not drop a shot as he claimed three birdies on the front nine and three more after the turn.

“I took care of the par-fours and the par-threes. I just didn't really take care of the par-fives,” Poulter, 39, told reporters, after squandering three birdie opportunities, missing 15-foot putts on holes two and 18 and a four-footer on seven.

“I'm playing well. I'm just not converting all of the chances that I would expect to convert. So when I do that, I'm going to find myself with a trophy in my hand,” said Poulter, who is seeking a first tour victory since 2012.

“I would like to end the year on a win. There's a lot at stake. It is probably more pride than anything else."

Kaymer, a two-time major winner, escaped with a bogey after finding water on the par-three sixth hole, while a run of five birdies on the final eight holes was marred only by another dropped shot on 16 as the early-starting players found it easier to score low before a desert wind whipped up in the afternoon.   Continued...

England's Ian Poulter in action during the first round. Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs