" 69 - Panuphol Pittayarat (THA), Hamza Amin (PAK), Bryce Easton (RSA), Javi Colomo (ESP), Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND)."
Dubai, Dec 18 - Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar scored three-under 69 to take joint 10th position after the first round of the $500,000 Dubai Open as Australian rookie Kalem Richardson stormed into a one-shot lead with a six-under 66 at the par-72 Els Club Dubai course here Thursday.

Th2 26-year-old Bhullar birdied the fourth, eighth, 13th, 16th and 18th holes but he progress was hampred by a double bogey on the par-4 15th.

The 26-year-old Richardson, who has enjoyed two top-five finishes in his last five starts, posted one eagle and five birdies to take one shot lead against Thai Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Singapore's Lam Chih Bing, Craig Hinton of England and Middle East and North Africa Tour regular Christopher Cannon of England.

Veteran Singaporean Mardan Mamat, Thailand's Pariya Junhasavasdikul and Australian duo Scott Barr and Nathan Holman shot 68 to stay amongst the early leaders in the final tournament of the this year's Asian Tour season.

Prom Meesawat of Thailand, who needs a win here to finish second on the Order of Merit, signed for a 71 while 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke birdied his last hole for a 72.

Richardson was delighted that his decision to take it easy in Dubai following a five-week tournament stretch paid off with his strong start.

I played pretty solid, it was a pretty crazy day. Playing golf in Dubai, it's amazing really, you just look around and see the scenery and you're just enjoying yourself and I'm feeling pretty relaxed being the last event of the year and Christmas being next week, said Richardson.

I've been playing solid, just the last couple weeks I've been a bit tired and this week I've taken a different approach and basically haven't done anything for three days. I hadn't actually seen the course, so I was playing blind today.

Other Indians in the fray, Shiv Kapur shared the 24th spot with 19 others after carding 71 while Chiragh Kumar, Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh scored one-over 73 to be tied 56th.

Jyoti Randhawa and S.S.P. Chowrasia finished tied 68th and joint 76th, respectively. While Randhawa scored two-over 74, Chowrasia managed a score of three-over. Rashid Khan also scored 74.

Leaderboard:

66 - Kalem Richardson (AUS).

67 - Christopher Canon (ENG), Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA), Lam Chih Bing (SIN), Craig Hinton (ENG).

68 - Scott Barr (AUS), Mardan Mamat (SIN), Nathan Holman (AUS), Pariya JunhaSsavasdikul (THA).

69 - Panuphol Pittayarat (THA), Hamza Amin (PAK), Bryce Easton (RSA), Javi Colomo (ESP), Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND).

70 - Younes El HASSANI (MAR), Angelo Que (PHI), Carlos Pigem (ESP), Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG), Marcus Both (AUS), Chan Shih-chang (TPE), Jbe Kruger (RSA), Mo Joong-kyung (KOR), Thitiphun Chuayprakong (THA).


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