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Coetzee Starts Out Hot in Qatar


George Coetzee fired an 8-under 64 to take the opening-round lead in the Qatar Masters. The European Tour event began Wednesday at Doha Golf Club.

The 27-year-old, a four-time winner on the Sunshine Tour who's still searching for his first title on the European circuit, needed only 21 putts en route to carding seven birdies, an eagle on the par-5 10th and a lone bogey for a one-stroke lead over fellow South African Dawie Van Der Walt and England's Steve Webster. Coetzee lost by a stroke last year in Qatar to Chris Wood.

Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bellow, who shared fourth in last week's Abu Dhabi Championship with Coetzee, is two back of the leader along with France's Francois Calmels, Spain's Nacho Elvira and England's Ross Fisher.

American John Daly was among several players to open with 67s. Wood, the defending champion, shot a 73.

Other scores included a 70 by 2013 PGA champion Jason Dufner. The top-ranked player in the field, No. 3 Henrik Stenson, got off to a good start with a 68. The 37-year-old Swede won the Qatar Masters in 2006.

Spain's Pablo Larrazabal, who birdied the final hole to win the Abu Dhabi Championship by a stroke over Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, started out with a 71.

For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2014/tournamentid=2014005/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.