Oliver Fisher takes one-shot lead in Qatar after opening 65

Ireland’s Damien McGrane three off the lead after 68

England’s Oliver Fisher fired a first-round 65 to lead the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters by a shot.

Fisher carded eight birdies, including three in a row from the 16th, and one bogey in his seven-under-par round in Doha.

Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello was hot on his heels after a bogey-free 66, just ahead of a group of 11 players on five under. They included England’s Mark Foster, Scotland’s Paul Lawrie and South African Ernie Els, all of whom also shot flawless rounds.

“I played nice today – it was a little bit breezy and I felt like I controlled my golf ball,” Fisher said on the European Tour website.

Justin Rose was in a tie for 14th on four under following a round which featured five birdies and a bogey.

“I couldn’t really buy a putt coming in, but all in all happy with the round,” Rose said. “It’s nice to be somewhere in contention and it’s a score on which to build for the rest of the week; it’s the perfect type of start, really.”

Cabrera-Bello had set a testing early target in the clubhouse after keeping a bogey off his card in his 66 which featured a mid-round surge of four birdies in five holes – an excellent response to his missed cut in Abu Dhabi last week.

Two-time champion Paul Lawrie continued his promising early-season progress as he crafted a faultless 67 to join a host of players on five under including English veteran Mark Foster and in-form South African Branden Grace.

Ernie Els birdied three of the first four holes and avoided any errors as he made it a nine-way share of third on five-under, while Stephen Gallacher and Rose found the cool, breezy conditions to their liking.

Gallacher, who will be bidding for a third consecutive Omega Dubai Desert Classic title next week, enjoyed three straight birdies in his 68, while Rose recovered from an early dropped shot with four birdies in six holes around the turn.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia was one over for the day after an uncertain first six holes, but he recovered with his first birdie of 2015 at the seventh and added two more at nine and 13 before rolling in an assertive 12-foot putt for a closing four to get to three under.

But it was another erratic day for 2006 champion and world number two Henrik Stenson, who missed the halfway cut in Abu Dhabi after failing to make a single birdie on day one.

Stenson had to scramble to open with a two-under 70 but headed into the clubhouse disappointed with a bogey six at the last; he carded four birdies to go with a couple of dropped shots.

Damien McGrane made a bright start in the opening round as he carded four under par 68 to sit three shots off the lead. McGrane was one under at the turn but picked up three birdies on his way home.

Peter Lawrie, who is playing in the competition by virtue of an invitation having failed to regain his Tour card, opened with a steady 70.