Gavin Moynihan enjoyed a solid start to the Oman Open with a three-under par first round enough to see him into the top ten, sitting just three shots behind leader Kurt Kitayama.

Moynihan has a share of tenth place. The Co Louth golfer started solidly with a level-par 36 on the front nine and then had four birdies and a bogey on the inward nine.

Paul Dunne had a rougher time of it however The Greystones man shot a two-over 74 to finish his opening round eight off the pace.

Kitayama, who came through all three stages of the qualifying school in 2018 and won on just his third European Tour start in Mauritius in December, recorded four birdies and an eagle in a flawless six-under 66 at Al Mouj Golf.

That gave the world number 206 a one-shot lead over Scotland's Scott Jamieson and Japan's Yusaku Miyazato, with former Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters and England's David Horsey part of a seven-strong group on four under.

Defending champion Joost Luiten was a shot further back after a 69, with last year's runner-up Chris Wood on level par in his first start of 2019 following an injury lay-off.

"I'm delighted with that," Kitayama said. "Conditions were pretty tough so to be bogey-free was really good. My putting was great, I had great speed. I made a few putts outside 10 feet so that was really nice.

"I have a few more opportunities to play after my win. It makes it easier to plan my schedule but it's my first year and I want to see most of the courses to plan for next year.

"I can understand why the guys rave about this golf course. It's in great shape and it doesn't get much purer than this."

In his first round on the European Tour since April 2018, former Open champion Paul Lawrie carded an opening 71 as he returned after a lengthy injury lay-off.