2014 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson open their season

Matthew Lewis

The biggest stars in golf not named Tiger Woods open their year with a two rather uneventful rounds in Abu Dhabi.

The first competitive round in 2014 for Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy is in the books after Thursday's opening 18 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Rory continued his late form from 2013, getting in the red with a 2-under round of 70, while Phil finished six shots off the pace at 1-over.

McIlroy's opening round is good enough to place him inside the top 20, and is an encouraging start to a new year that has to be better than 2013. More impassive than the final-round number under par is that McIlroy did not make a bogey all day. It was these crooked numbers, and bogey streaks, that often sent tournaments off the rails last year. He steadily made his way through the Abu Dhabi GC layout in rather uneventful fashion, adding birdies at two par-5s to compliment his 16 pars.

Joining McIlroy at 2-under are fellow Euro Ryder Cuppers Martin Kaymer, Peter Hanson, and Luke Donald. This event is probably deeper at the top than the competing PGA Tour tilt in Palm Springs, so obviously the Euro Tour folks have to be pleased with players like Rory, Donald, and Kaymer in the mix. They're all still three shots back of the trio leading at 5-under -- Romain Wattel, Matthew Baldwin, and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

While you could characterize Rory's round as uneventful, Mickelson's loop was just straight boring. Phil did not make a birdie all day, and made bogey on the final green to get in with the 1-over 73. That's a very un-Phil round, so perhaps he's saved all the red and crooked numbers for the second round, which he'll play during the Golf Channel broadcast window early Friday morning.

Here are the results from Thursday's first round on the Euro Tour:

Place Player Score Round 1
T1 CABRERA-BELLO, Rafa -5 67
T1 WATTEL, Romain -5 67
T1 BALDWIN, Matthew* -5 67
T4 LUITEN, Joost* -4 68
T4 WARREN, Marc -4 68
T4 VAN DER WALT, Dawie* -4 68
T4 LIMA, José-Filipe -4 68
T4 MCGINLEY, Paul -4 68
T4 COETZEE, George -4 68
T4 LEE, Craig* -4 68
T11 SINGH, Jeev Milkha* -3 69
T11 HATTON, Tyrrell -3 69
T11 WEBSTER, Steve -3 69
T11 ORMSBY, Wade -3 69
T11 LARRAZÁBAL, Pablo* -3 69
T11 SIEM, Marcel -3 69
T11 HOEY, Michael -3 69
T11 FISHER, Oliver -3 69
T19 KAYMER, Martin* -2 70
T19 MCILROY, Rory* -2 70
T19 AIKEN, Thomas -2 70
T19 GALLACHER, Stephen* -2 70
T19 SANTOS, Ricardo -2 70
T19 MCGRANE, Damien -2 70
T19 OTTO, Hennie -2 70
T19 MOLINARI, Edoardo* -2 70
T19 HANSON, Peter -2 70
T19 BJÖRN, Thomas -2 70
T19 DONALD, Luke -2 70
T19 JEONG, Jin* -2 70
T19 DE LA RIVA, Eduardo* -2 70
T19 FICHARDT, Darren* -2 70
T19 JAIDEE, Thongchai -2 70
T19 PEPPERELL, Eddie -2 70
T35 WOOD, Chris* -1 71
T35 MANASSERO, Matteo* -1 71
T35 DINWIDDIE, Robert -1 71
T35 HARRINGTON, Padraig* -1 71
T35 QUESNE, Julien -1 71
T35 KIEFFER, Maximilian* -1 71
T35 KAPUR, Shiv -1 71
T35 CARLSSON, Magnus A -1 71
T35 THORNTON, Simon* -1 71
T35 JACQUELIN, Raphaël* -1 71
T35 QUIROS, Alvaro -1 71
T35 FASTH, Niclas* -1 71
T35 CAÑIZARES, Alejandro* -1 71
T35 STONE, Brandon* -1 71
T35 BLAND, Richard* -1 71
T35 GONZALEZ, Ricardo* -1 71
T35 LEWIS, Tom* -1 71
T52 FRASER, Marcus* Even 72
T52 HAVRET, Grégory Even 72
T52 ROCK, Robert* Even 72
T52 FOSTER, Mark* Even 72
T52 GRILLO, Emiliano* Even 72
T52 SADDIER, Adrien* Even 72
T52 PHELAN, Kevin* Even 72
T52 CAMPILLO, Jorge* Even 72
T52 CASEY, Paul Even 72
T52 ELVIRA, Nacho* Even 72
T52 BHULLAR, Gaganjeet* Even 72
T63 ZANOTTI, Fabrizio 1 73
T63 MICKELSON, Phil* 1 73
T63 DONALDSON, Jamie* 1 73
T63 BENSON, Seve 1 73
T63 GRACE, Branden* 1 73
T63 SULLIVAN, Andy 1 73
T63 DYSON, Simon* 1 73
T63 FLEETWOOD, Tommy 1 73
T63 LAWRIE, Peter* 1 73
T63 JIMÉNEZ, Miguel Angel 1 73
T63 HOWELL, David* 1 73
T63 KARLSSON, Robert 1 73
T63 HORSEY, David* 1 73
T63 WIESBERGER, Bernd 1 73
T63 MONTGOMERIE, Colin 1 73
T63 KJELDSEN, Søren 1 73
T63 WILLETT, Danny* 1 73
T63 WARING, Paul* 1 73
T63 BROBERG, Kristoffer 1 73
T63 SLATTERY, Lee* 1 73
T63 MAYBIN, Gareth 1 73
T63 CARLSSON, Johan 1 73
T85 CRESPI, Marco 2 74
T85 LEVY, Alexander 2 74
T85 UIHLEIN, Peter* 2 74
T85 CLARKE, Darren* 2 74
T85 CALMELS, François 2 74
T85 FISHER, Ross* 2 74
T85 STORM, Graeme* 2 74
T85 OLESEN, Thorbjørn 2 74
T85 STENSON, Henrik 2 74
T85 ILONEN, Mikko* 2 74
T85 OLAZÁBAL, José María 2 74
T85 WHITEFORD, Peter* 2 74
T85 RIU, Victor 2 74
T85 STAL, Gary* 2 74
T99 DEL MORAL, Carlos 3 75
T99 RUMFORD, Brett* 3 75
T99 MADSEN, Morten Ørum* 3 75
T99 DOAK, Chris 3 75
T99 HUIZING, Daan 3 75
T104 GARCIA, Sergio* 4 76
T104 PARRY, John 4 76
T104 LOWRY, Shane* 4 76
T104 PIETERS, Thomas 4 76
T104 KRUGER, Jbe* 4 76
T104 HUANG, Wen-yi* 4 76
T104 WALL, Anthony* 4 76
T104 APHIBARNRAT, Kiradech 4 76
T104 GREEN, Richard 4 76
T113 OTAEGUI, Adrian 5 77
T113 MULROY, Garth 5 77
T113 HANSEN, JB 5 77
T113 KOEPKA, Brooks* 5 77
T113 PAVAN, Andrea 5 77
T118 HANSEN, Soren 6 78
T118 CAMPBELL, Michael 6 78
T118 MCLEARY, Jamie* 6 78
T118 KIM, Sihwan 6 78
122 NIXON, Matthew 7 79
123 LAWRIE, Paul 8 80
T124 ALMUSHARREKH, Ahmed* 10 82
T124 LEVET, Thomas* 10 82

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