Sport - Golf - James Nash
Tied first after round one at the Montgomerie Golf Club James Nash, teeing off hole one Image Credit: Nick Tarratt, Gulf News

James Nash (Wales), Dan Byrne (The Els Club) and Raghav Gulati (Dubai Creek) all shot two under par 70’s to lead after the first round of the 2023 Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai Men’s Open today (Friday).

Nash, who plays off a +4 handicap, winner of the recent Dubai Creek Men’s Open, started strongly with birdies on holes two and four but then struggled from the sixth with a double – bogey – bogey run to go out in 38.

After the turn Nash, who represents Wales at international level and visits Dubai for winter training, made five birdies on holes 11, 14, 15, 17 and 18, with a bogey on hole 16 to be home in 32.

Also on 70 was Byrne (+4), a former winner of the EGF Order of Merit, who managed a three-birdie round and a sole bogey on arguably the easiest hole on the course, the par five 14th.

The other player in the three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard was Gulati (+1), with nines of 34 and 36.

Leading Montgomerie Golf Club member was Gary Martin (6) who shot a gross 74, and receiving 10 shots with the Course Index adjustment, leads the net division by four shots with a net 64.

72 players are in this full field.

This 54 hole individual strokeplay tournament is the ninth event on the Emirates Golf Federation’s (EGF) 2022 – 2023 Men’s Order of Merit as well as an approved World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) event supported by the R&A.

Play was from the Black Tees with preferred lies in operation.

The draw for the second round tomorrow (Saturday) sees the leaders out last at 8.39 am off the first tee in threeballs, with Nash, Byrne and Gulati in the final group.

First Round Scores (Par 72 Black Tees)

J. Nash (Wales) 70 (-2)

D. Byrne (The Els Club) 70 (-2)

R. Gulati (Dubai Creek) 70 (-2)

A. Axelsson (EGF) 71 (-1)

S. Mullane (JGE) 72 (Level)

E. Galeppini (Dubai Creek) 72 (Level)