Callum Shinkwin shoots 11 birdies to lead Ras Al Khaimah Championship

Englishman equals course record on opening day of DP World Tour event

Callum Shinkwin of England tees off on the sixth hole on Day One of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club. Getty Images
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Callum Shinkwin will take a two-stroke lead into day two of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship after a blistering opening round of 10-under 62 that featured no fewer than 11 birdies, eight of them on the bounce, at Al Hamra Golf Club.

The Englishman was already two-under when he started his run on the 16th, recording 10 birdies in 11 holes to spark talk of a 59.

A bogey on the seventh ended those hopes but he picked the shot straight back up on the next and his course-record equalling 10-under par total left him two ahead of countryman Richard Mansell and South African Brandon Stone.

Mansell also got to 10 under before making a double-bogey on the eighth, while Stone – back on the DP World Tour after a season on the European Challenge Tour – picked up six shots in his last seven holes in a 64.

Shinkwin's birdie run was just one short of James Nitties' DP World Tour record as he matched his lowest score on Tour from the 2016 Shenzhen International.

The 30-year-old arrived in Ras Al Khaimah fresh off a tie for 11th at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic and now has a third DP World Tour title firmly in his sights.

"I was a bit gutted about the seventh," he said. "It's not easy to get a 59 on a par 72 course but I just kept going, making birdie after birdie and didn't really think about 59.

"I wanted to beat [his previous 62] by one because when you have a record you always want to keep beating those records but eight years down the line I've shot a 62 again so I'm happy.

"I shot 63 qualifying for Abu Dhabi [in 2019] when I lost my card and I followed up with a 65 ... so it can be done. The next day is another day and one shot at a time.

“I like the Middle East, it's always nice this time of year. I leave the cold weather at home and come here to the nice warm sun so it's a big difference."

Mansell, who is set to move to Dubai this coming weekend, said: “I played brilliant today. I had one bad hole. The stuff I’m working on, I’m going to choose to focus on the good stuff because there was a lot of that today.

“The areas of my game that I’ve worked really hard at the past couple of months are starting to show for me. It’s nice to shoot a low round. Obviously, you get to a downwind par five, you’re 10-under par with two to play and you do that, it’s frustrating. But, overall, a good start."

The UAE’s Joshua Grenville-Wood put his local knowledge to good use and made a lightning start with a 5-under 67 featuring six birdies with just one blemish on his scorecard with a bogey on the par-3 15th. The 25-year-old currently lies in a share of 11th place.

“I was pretty solid out there,” said the Els Club member. “I found it good. The conditions weren’t really easy but they weren’t too difficult and a lot easier than last week.

“The course is in good condition. I let a couple of chances slip by on the front nine – saw myself shooting seven or eight under out there today. Pretty solid back nine, just the one hiccup, but other than that I’m really pleased. I’ll go out again tomorrow and try to do the same thing and see where it puts us.”

Fans can enjoy free general admission to the Ras Al Khaimah Championship and can register for tickets at the official European Tour website.

Updated: January 25, 2024, 3:59 PM