Damien McGrane sits just three shots off the lead after the opening round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The Meath man went out in one-under 35, following two birdies on the second and ninth, and a dropped shot on the par four fifth.

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

The tournament, which runs from Wednesday to Saturday in the Middle East, is led by England's Oliver Fisher who fired a first-round 65.

Fisher carded eight birdies, including three in a row from the 16th, and one bogey in his seven-under-par round in Doha, while Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello was hot on his heels after a bogey-free 66, just ahead of a group of 11 players on five under.

They included England's Mark Foster, Scotland's Paul Lawrie and South African Ernie Els, all of whom also shot flawless rounds.

"I played nice today - it was a little bit breezy and I felt like I controlled my golf ball," Fisher said on the European Tour website.

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

Dubliner Peter Lawrie shot a two-under 70 to sit in a tie for 35th, while Ballymoney's Michael Hoey also finished under par and sits six shots off Fisher’s lead on one-under-par.

Former US Open winner Justin Rose was in a tie for 14th alongside McGrane on four under following a round which featured five birdies and a bogey.

"I couldn't really buy a putt coming in, but all in all happy with the round," Rose said.

"It's nice to be somewhere in contention and it's a score on which to build for the rest of the week, it's the perfect type of start really."