Westwood off the pace but still in the hunt at the Qatar Masters

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Lee Westwood’s steady but unspectacular start to the new golf season continued in his first round at the Qatar Masters.

The Englishman shot a solid one-under 71 at the Doha Golf Club thanks to his round that included four birdies and three bogies.

He will have to shoot lower in the coming days if he is to seriously challenge for the Qatar Masters title though.

However, he showed his fighting qualities with a 17th place finish at the Abu Dhabi Championship last week – a finishing position he achieved despite suffering with a neck injury throughout the four days of the competition.

His undoubted class is why he remains the favourite at 8/1 along with overnight leader Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Fernandez-Castano birdied four of the last five holes for a brilliant opening round 66 – six-under par on a day when the wind was howling around the course.

Meanwhile, American John Daly got off to a brilliant start thanks to his bogey-free round of 67.

He remains out at 25/1 though as the famously volatile two-times major champion has a habit of collapsing and last won a tournament 2004.

Elsewehere, KJ Choi has been cut to 9/1 following his brilliant opening round that leaves him just two behind leader Fernandez-Castano.

US Open and Masters runner-up Jason Day is also priced at 9/1 after his opening day 68 that saw him hit four birdies and nothing worse than a par.

Finally, Graeme McDowell has drifted to 25/1 after his disappointing one-over opening round, while Sergio Garcia is 20/1 having shot a 72.

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