Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood start strongly in European Tour finale
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 21/11/19 3:24pm
Jon Rahm reaped the rewards of a six-week break from competitive golf after making a bogey-free return to action at the DP World Tour Championship.
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The Spaniard, one of five players heading into the season finale with a chance of winning the Race to Dubai, posted six birdies in an opening-round 66 at Jumeriah Golf Estates.
Rahm - third in the season-long standings - sits in third spot on six under and within three shots of early pacesetter Mike Lorenzo-Vera, with the world No 5 feeling the benefits from his time away.
"Really good, even though I tried my best to mess it up on the last hole," Rahm told Sky Sports. "Out of all those six weeks, most of the first five were not touching a club.
"Pleased with the way I'm performing. I could tell how rested I was mentally because on some holes -- I never lost patience, I never really got down on myself and stayed with that positive attitude. I'm hoping I can keep playing solid and keep it for the next three days.
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Report and highlights from the opening round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
"A lot of people are playing good. It's going to be an exciting week, so hopefully I can keep playing good and give Rory [McIlroy] and Mike [Lorenzo-Vera] a run for their money."
Fleetwood, closest challenger to Bernd Wiesberger in the Race to Dubai standings, followed his victory at last week's Nedbank Golf Challenge by holing-out for eagle at the first on his way to a five-under 67.
"You can only put yourself out of it on day one," Fleetwood said. "There's a lot more to do, there's 54 holes now. There are great players up there and all I can do is do my stuff.
"I've got three days of work left, really, until the end of the year. Just need to make the most of them, stay very present, keep doing my best on every golf shot and see how we can get on."
Wiesberger temporarily dropped off projected top spot in the rankings after playing his first 10 holes in one over, only to birdie three of his final eight and sign for an opening-round 70.
"You go out there and it feels a little bit like a Sunday for some reason, but it's only the first day," Wiesberger said. "It's still a long week ahead but it definitely feels if you go out there, No. 1 and 2, it feels like you're in a Sunday shootout in a way, but it's not.
"There's still 54 holes ahead of us and a lot can happen, so trying to take the good with the bad and hopefully we get a couple golf breaks and score low the next few days."
Watch the DP World Tour Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 7am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.