Noren surprised to be on top

Noren surprised to be on top
Ernie Els of South Africa plays a shot on the 18th hole during the first round

Dubai - Noren finished second here last year but admitted that it is a course that is not tailor-made to his style of play.

By James Jose

Published: Fri 5 Feb 2016, 11:01 PM

Alex Noren said that he wasn't expecting to be on top of the leaderboard and admitted that he got away with a few bad shots.
The Swede carded a bogey-free round to take sole leadership of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Majlis Course of the Emirates Golf Course on Thursday.
The 33-year-old fired six birdies with four of them coming on his back nine for a six-under 66. Noren has a one-shot lead over four others going into the second round on Friday. "Very happy," Noren said after his first round.
"I hit a lot of good shots but a few bad shots and got away with it, and then you end up with 66, so I'm very happy. I didn't really expect it, and then it feels even better," he added.
"I was very happy when it was all over because it didn't feel that good warming up and stuff. I hit my irons really good all day. Pretty average driving. Was tough on the few holes, a lot of draws here and I don't like to draw it," he elaborated.
Noren finished second here last year but admitted that it is a course that is not tailor-made to his style of play. "Like the last two weeks, I hit a lot of fades off the tee and here you know it's a drawer's course. So you feel a bit down, as a fader. But you just have to accept it and maybe play less aggressive on some holes. But I missed a few shots and got away with it and then I putted pretty well. The irons were good, and then it helps a lot," said Noren.
"They have made small changes with the bunkers, run-offs and more rough than last year but the rough is quite nice this year, not super heavy. So I think if you are get the ball somewhat in play, you've got to get your irons close, because the greens are very flat. So I think if you're putting well, you can hole a lot of putts," he added.
And Noren felt a defensive approach on some of the holes was the right way to go on such a course.
"The practise rounds went pretty good. As I said, I like fading the ball off the tee, and this is a drawer's course. I just maybe played a little bit defensive on some shots, and you can go for others. I'm really happy with 66," he said.

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