Keeping Score

Thomas Pieters rallies to lead Dubai event

After starting double bogey, bogey, Belgian makes 8 birdies for 5-under 67 and 1-stroke lead over American David Lipsky in European Tour's 2nd tournament in 3-week Desert Swing

8: Number of birdies that Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who had started 3 over through two holes, made over his final 16 holes to shoot 5-under 67 and lead the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday. Pieters started double bogey, bogey at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, before finding a spark with three consecutive birdies, at Nos. 5-7, to make the turn in even par. He continued the run with a 5-under inward nine to open a one-stroke lead over American David Lipsky. Pieters, who will turn 28 on Jan. 27, is a four-time winner on the European Tour and the 2012 NCAA champion while playing for Illinois. The Dubai stop is the second tournament on the Arabian Peninsula in the three-week Desert Swing, which concludes next week with the Saudi International (scores).

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