David Law leads Qatar Masters after tying career-best European Tour score

Words of wisdom from two Scottish sages, Paul Lawrie and Alan McCloskey, helped David Law tie his lowest round on the European Tour as the Aberdonian set the pace in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

David Law looks on after playing his second shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Education City Golf Club in Doha. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.
David Law looks on after playing his second shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Education City Golf Club in Doha. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

Law, who won the ISPS Handa Vic Open just over two years ago, took full advantage of calm conditions at Education City Golf Club in Doha to card a bogey-free seven-under-par 64.

The effort, which matched his first-day score in last year’s Betfred British Masters at Close House, earned the 29-year-old a one-shot lead over a group of four players on the circuit’s resumption following a month-long break.

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Scott Jamieson also made a promising start with a four-under-par 67, which left him in a tie for tenth, but the opening day in the Middle East belonged to Law.

Scott Jamieson plays his second shot on the 13th hole during day one of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Education City Golf Club in Doha. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images.

The two-time Scottish Amateur champion burst out out of the blocks with three straight birdies before adding further gains at the seventh, eighth, 13th and 15th in a polished performance.

“I’ve been guilty over the last few weeks when I’ve had decent rounds going but not finishing them off,” he admitted afterwards.

“I was really happy with how I stuck to my routines, my processes and I came out of it with a good score. I’m a lot more focused on my targets rather than my golf swings.

“Over the last couple of seasons I’ve been guilty of asking myself why I’ve been hitting bad shots, instead of just going on to hit the next one.

“Over the break, I sat down with my coach Alan McCloskey and (manager and mentor) Paul Lawrie we discussed it and it’s all about getting the ball in the hole now, trusting that you’ve done the hard work.”

Lawrie won this event in both 1999 - the year after Andrew Coltart triumphed in its inaugural staging - and 2012.

As he bids to add to that Scottish success, Law is hoping to kick on in the second round, when he is expected to enjoy easier morning conditions.

“It’s a nice draw,” he admitted of the weather forecast. “It’ll be different. Although it was hot and muggy, it was calm, it’s never normally like that here.

"Tomorrow will be a bit more like normal, a bit of wind and it’ll be testing. I’m looking forward to it.”

Englishman Richard McEvoy, South African Hennie Du Plessis, Finland’s Kalle Samooja and Italian Nino Bertasio are Law’s closest challengers, with Jamieson also handily-placed after an equally-pleasing return to the coalface.

“After a bit of time off from our last tournament, you are never sure what to expect, but I’ve been working pretty hard at home, so it was nice to get off to a good start,” said the 37-year-old.

“I’ve just been trying to tidy up the swing a little. I hit it okay in the Middle East, but the driver is something I always battle with - I don’t hit it straight enough.

“This course probably suits that because there’s a bit of room off the tee and also not a lot of drivers, but the drivers I did hit were very good.”

Richie Ramsay and Connor Syme both opened with two-under 69s, one better than David Drysdale, last year’s runner-up, and Stephen Gallacher.

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