Defending champion Fleetwood upstages McIlroy, Johnson

Ross Houston
January 19, 2018

FOLLOWING his brilliant performance at the BMW SA Open Golf Championship last week where he finished an incredible fourth, rising star Scott Vincent's continues to impress after he made a satisfactory start at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, which teed off at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club yesterday.

It's not everyday that a young fan gets to tee it up with his idol, especially during an actual golf tournament.

The Englishman, who won the Abu Dhabi title 12 months ago as part of his Race to Dubai-winning season, set the mark on day one with a flawless six-under-par 66.

Fleetwood, the defending Abu Dhabi champion and last year's European Tour money-list victor, continued his excellent form by hitting all 18 greens in regulation.

"First competitive round in over 100 days so it's a little bit different", said McIlroy, who last played at the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland on October 8.

"It felt like I... He's waiting at the back of every green and every tee box", noted McIlroy, who was surprised to see the kid inside the ropes and on the tee. My pace putting was really good. "I couldn't be happier as Rory and Tommy both said they couldn't hit it as good as that!"

Murphy admitted to a small case of the fidgets but he shook them off like a pro.

"It was unbelievable with everyone cheering for me", Oscar said.

It's pretty awesome that a young kid was able to go out there and hit such an wonderful shot next to his idol and I'm sure it's a moment he'll never forget.

"Played it a bit off the front foot", he said. But I just took a deep breath and did my best with my 3-wood.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy got his 2018 campaign off to a tonic start with a bogey-free 69 to finish in a tie for 17th at the end of day one.

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