Even Dubai Desert Classic specialist Stephen Gallacher admitted the first-round conditions in the Omega-sponsored event at Emirates Golf Club were tough to handle.
Spanish star Sergio Garcia enjoyed near-perfect conditions for most of his opening circuit as he opened with a sparkling seven-under-par 65 in the UAE.
But the Majlis Course proved a much more difficult test for the afternoon starters as the wind strengthened and the temperature dropped dramatically.
“It was tough,” admitted Gallacher after signing for a level-par 72 in that second wave after lunch. “The wind was moving the putts on the greens and it was just really tough to get the ball close as well.”
The Lothians star was two-under early on before dropping three shots in five holes but got back to level-par with a birdie at the 16th, where he almost holed his approach.
“Anything under par is a great score this afternoon,” added the three-time European Tour winner. “I hit quite a lot of greens, which is what you’ve got to do.
“The wind is going to be 35mph from the get-go tomorrow, so you it’s just a case of trying as hard as you can to get into the red numbers and be up there for the weekend when it calms down.”