Bryson DeChambeau finds himself at home in the Dubai Desert Classic

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 24: Bryson Dechambeau of United States walks on hole fourteen during Day One of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on January 24, 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Bryson DeChambeau finds himself at home in the Dubai Desert Classic

Euro Tour

Bryson DeChambeau finds himself at home in the Dubai Desert Classic

By

Bryson DeChambeau might actually take up European Tour membership if he wins this week’s $3.25 million Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

DeChambeau, 25, has often speculated about joining the Euro Tour. He has given himself a great chance of his first international victory after an opening 6-under-par 66 Thursday.

DeChambeau is one shot behind Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick in an eight-way tie for second with Sergio Garcia, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, Australian Scott Hend, Matthieu Pavon and Romain Langasque of France, Finnish player Kalle Samooja and England’s Callum Shinkwin.

World number five DeChambeau managed to keep a bogey off his card. He played the front nine in 2-under 33 with birdies at the second and eighth holes, and also came back in 33, 4-under, thanks to red figures at the 10th, 13th, 17th and 18th.

Normally a 66 around the 7,328 yard Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club would be a cause for celebration, but the perfectionist DeChambeau wasn’t totally happy with his day’s work.

“I didn’t feel like I was hitting it anywhere near my best,” said DeChambeau, who is making his second Desert Classic start after finishing T18 as an amateur in 2016.

“I was able to recover in a couple of situations, made a couple of long putts and then got up and down on six, which was huge.

“I even missed a couple of putts. I just felt like it was a scrappy round, but I got it out and shot 66.”

DeChambeau admitted earlier in the week that Dubai could be the first event of his European Tour membership. New European Tour regulations which stipulate that players only need to play four events outside the majors and WGC tournaments make it easier for players like DeChambeau to join the European fold.

“Absolutely, I’d do a membership, that’s obvious,” he said.

“There are plenty of players that have won worldwide, and I want to be one of them. So that’s a yes.

“I’m honestly just excited to try and capture an international victory, and that’s really what I want to do this week.

“I’ve set my sights on an international win, and then also majors, for sure.”

Fitzpatrick finished with four straight birdies to jump into the lead as he chases his sixth European Tour win.

Garcia also went bogey free in the opening round. The Spaniard won the Desert Classic two years ago.

Jaidee had the lead on his own on 8 under before finding water on the par-5, 18th hole en route to a double bogey seven.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home