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Wilson and Dredge take lead in windy Qatar

Britain's Oliver Wilson and Bradley Dredge toughed out windy conditions to fire five-under-par 67s to share the lead after the opening round of the Qatar Masters on Thursday.

The pair are one stroke clear of four players: Lee Westwood, Germany's Marcel Siem and the Swedish duo of Robert Karlsson and Alex Noren. Just 24 players in the 126-player field managed to break par on the windswept Doha Club course.

Wilson bounced back in superb style after missing the halfway cut in last week's Abu Dhabi Championship with a scoring display that included six birdies and one bogey.

"I am really pleased with a 67, and it's strange, as it didn't feel that hard," he said.

"It felt quite easy, in context. Then I got in and realised the scores so obviously it has been playing tough out there, so it looked tough for a lot of guys."

Wilson, in his sixth full European Tour season, is still seeking to capture a first Tour success after nine second-place finishes.

With the help of some changes introduced into his game over the off-season, Wilson is looking to correct that statistic ahead of this year's Ryder Cup in Wales.

Dredge began his round with a bogey but then birdied five of his closing seven holes including three in succession from his 14th ahead of holing a 20-foot birdie putt in near darkness on his final green.

"The forecast was for the wind to die down on the back nine; it did that and we were fortunate," said Dredge.

Westwood was delighted to also bounce back from missing the halfway cut last week.

Last year's European No1 had a new set of irons shipped to him from the US and Westwood was delighted with the turnaround in his game.

"I played very solidly, missing two greens and two fairways, so today was more like picking up from last year's golf," he said.