DUBAI (Reuters) - South Africa's Richard Sterne fired a scintillating 10-under-par 62 in the Dubai Desert Classic first round on Thursday to overshadow a fine start to the season by world number eight Lee Westwood.
World number 165 Sterne's 10-birdie round in scoring-friendly conditions was nearly matched by Scot Stephen Gallacher (63) while Race to Dubai money list leader Scott Jamieson and Tommy Fleetwood were two shots further back.
Former world number one Westwood (67) matched 56-year-old twice major winner Mark O'Meara's round thanks to a brilliant eagle at the par-five 18th, his ninth hole.
Despite a solitary birdie on the closing nine the Englishman was left beaming after a good day's work.
"I felt very sharp - no rust there at all and I played better today than I finished off last year," Westwood told reporters.
"You never know what to expect after a few weeks off," added the 39-year-old, who moved his family to Florida last year in order to keep his game fresh in the off-season.
Also in form were former world number three Paul Casey, now ranked 124th, who three-putted his last hole but still came away with a 66 to equal his playing partner, Italian teenager Matteo Manassero.
(Writing by Tom Pilcher in London, Editing by Ed Osmond)
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