Tommy Fleetwood
Tommy Fleetwood is on the bag for his stepson this week Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai resident Oscar Craig got off to a dream start on his Challenge Tour debut, firing an impressive three under par 69 at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club during the first round of the UAE Challenge.

The 17-year-old, who secured an invite into the event after winning the Ras Al Khaimah Men’s Open, told Gulf News earlier this week that he was “nervous” ahead of mixing it with DP World Tour winners and the game’s emerging stars.

But judging by his first round performance, which included birdies on the fourth, eighth and 18, he had nothing to worry about.

"The start of the first nine, I just played really solid,” said Craig, who sits in a share of 14th at the time of writing, with the afternoon wave yet to finish.

“I didn't miss many shots, I just stayed confident on every single shot. Got to the back nine, again, my long game was strong and I felt confident with it I just didn't hole many putts. The last few holes I struggled a little bit, but then I holed some good putts so it levelled out a bit.

“Overall, I'm really happy."

Craig also has the advantage of having one of the world’s best golfers on his bag this week, with World No.11 Tommy Fleetwood, Craig’s stepdad, providing his wisdom to the youngster, just two weeks after finishing inside the top three at the Masters Tournament.

"Landed Monday night, we were here Tuesday morning, played 18 and then played 9 on Wednesday morning as well,” said Fleetwood, following Craig’s opening 69.

"Unbelievable, keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep playing like that, he'll be just fine.”