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McGrane in the mix as Fisher takes Qatar lead

Meath man Damien McGrane was only three shots off the lead after the opening round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

McGrane got to the turn in one-under 35, with two birdies on the second and ninth, plus a bogey on the par four fifth.

However, the former Volvo China Open winner delivered a flawless back nine, with birdies on the tenth and 16th holes to move to three under, before finishing with his fifth birdie of the round on his last hole to post a four-under 68.

Briton Oliver Fisher hit a first round 65 to hold a one-shot lead in Doha.

The 26-year-old Englishman carded eight birdies and one bogey to move one clear of Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello, while there was an 11-way tie for third, including major champions Ernie Els and Paul Lawrie, on five under.

"I played nicely today. It was a little bit breezy and I felt like I controlled my golf ball," Fisher said.

"I played well and gave myself a lot of chances so it was a good round.

"It's a great field like last week. I'm out there giving it my all every time until the last shot, and hopefully when I add them up at the end of the day and it's a good run."

Cabrera-Bello produced six birdies in his round.

Patrick Reed, meanwhile, feels confidence is soaring as he prepares to defend his title at the Humana Challenge in the Californian resort city of La Quinta. Reed led from start to finish last year to win in a tournament record score of 28 under par. That was a second career victory and two more have followed since, as well as a personally impressive Ryder Cup debut.

Confidence is not something the 24-year-old, who memorably claimed he belonged in the world's top five after winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship last March, has ever seemed to lack. But having become one of only six players since 1991 to have won four or more times on the PGA Tour prior to the age of 25, Reed is starting to add substance to his boasts.

He said: "I just feel like the confidence is growing and growing, where if I have a bad round, or if I'm struggling during a round, I still have that confidence level to keep going."


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