Slync.io DDC R1 { 1395 images } Created 27 Jan 2022

Joachim B. Hansen continued his remarkable run of form in Dubai as he fired an opening 65 to lead by one shot after day one of the 2022 Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic.

The Dane won the AVIV Dubai Championship in November and the following week achieved a second top ten in a Rolex Series event at the DP World Tour Championship.

Now back in Dubai at Emirates Golf Club for a third consecutive Rolex Series start, the two-time DP World Tour winner fired a bogey-free seven under to lead by one from South Africa's Justin Harding, who was on the 18th when play was ended for the day due to darkness.

Former champion and Major winner Sergio Garcia was then at five under par alongside fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal, 2017 European Number One Tommy Fleetwood, veteran Thai Thongchai Jaidee and Italy's Andrea Pavan.

Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti was standing on the 18th tee at five under when the hooter sounded, and his group along with Harding's make up the six players who will have to complete their rounds on day two.

Reigning Tour Number One Collin Morikawa was at four under alongside World Number Five Viktor Hovland, Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, Finn Kalle Samooja and South African Brandon Stone but the day belonged to Hansen, who holed out in the twilight on the last.

Already a two-time European Challenge Tour graduate as he tried to establish himself on the European Tour, Hansen topped those Rankings in 2018 and has not looked back, finishing in the top 50 on the DP World Tour Rankings every season since and claiming those first two victories.

Player quotes

JB Hansen: “Pretty good. I kept the ball in play. I didn't drive it that well. Putted fantastic.

"They are still a bit young (the greens). I think they will be better next year, but they are rolling very nice, very quick. So, it's not easy.

"A bit of shame there wasn't anymore tournaments at the end of last year, but try to keep it going. A bit more relaxed. A bit more belief in myself. But still have to play pretty good golf to play here in 2023. So just trying to do my best."

Sergio Garcia: “It was good. I think obviously got a little bit more challenging the last couple of holes with left-to-right wind into on those two strong holes. Made a couple nice par saves at the right times and kept it in play for the most part. Hit a good amount of greens and when I didn't, my chipping and putting was there to help me.

“The weather really helps. It's a really nice golf course and I've done well here, so that also helps. It feels like it's usually a nice to way to start the year. You're always excited to come back.

“I still have a lot of things that I want to achieve. I want to keep trying to get better, challenge myself to improve and that's never easy, and as you get older, it's obviously tougher. You know, work hard and hopefully just keep fighting.”
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