Ireland's Shane Lowry holds a three-shot clubhouse lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after a blistering opening round, which equalled the course record. 

The Offaly man was out early at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club and enjoyed a bogey-free round of 62, claiming five birdies on the front nine and the same number on the back nine.

It could have been even better for Lowry who had a birdie chance on the final hole but had to settle for par when he narrowly missed a 20-foot putt. 

As it was Lowry's round saw him equal the course record set by Henrik Stenson 13 years ago.

Lowry is three shots clear of his closest competitors, Louis Oosthuizen who sits on -7 and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera who birdied the final hole for a round of 65.

Ireland's other representative at the tournament Paul Dunne finished on one over par. 


"I had a lovely break at Christmas," said Lowry.

"I was home for the whole lot of it and I came out here with my family and rented a house in Dubai.

"We've had it since the third of January. Myself and Paul Dunne are sharing the house and we're practising together and we've been playing a lot together over at the Els Club in Dubai, and we got some great work done.

"I feel good about my game. It's probably the best pre-season I've ever done, and it showed today. I'm just hoping I can keep going.

"I didn't hit as many fairways as I would have liked, but I was hitting everything close and managed to hole a couple of putts as well. It was one of those days where it just felt comfortable.

"But look, I just want to enjoy it because it's a great day and I think it equals my best round I've ever had, so enjoy it and then get out tomorrow and see what I can do."