Abu Dhabi Golf Championship notebook: Tom Lewis and Miguel Angel Jimenez ace No 15 during first round

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain aced the No 15 hole on Thursday and finished with an even par-72. Andrew Redington / Getty Images
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Curse of the Cadillac

Tom Lewis would be advised to steer clear of any fire hydrants once he takes delivery of a new Cadillac Escalade – his prize for the tournament’s first hole-in-one. The Englishman aced the 193-yard seventh hole, to win a car best known in golf circles as the make of vehicle Tiger Woods portentously crashed back in 2009. “I was waiting for my dad’s reaction, as he was down by the green,” said Lewis, who shot 69. “He just turned and clapped. I was pleased I didn’t have to putt.”

Points but no prizes for Jimenez

At least Lewis received a reward. Miguel Angel Jimenez repeated the feat at the par-3 15th, holing a 177–yard 7-iron that flew through the palm trees, took one bounce and hopped into the cup. However, that he got only two shots off his overall tally did not irk too much. “It’s very nice when you have a hole-in-one,” Jimenez said following his even-par 72. “But no prize? It’s fine.”

The power of positive thinking

If positives were hard to come by yesterday for Ahmed Al Musharrekh, the Emirati found some solace in the company he keeps. Having signed for a 6-over par 78, he sits second-last on the leaderboard alongside Chris DiMarco, the 2006 champion. Henrik Stenson, the world No 2, fared only two shots better. “Suppose that’s not bad, then,” said Al Musharrekh with a laugh. “I prepared well, but unfortunately couldn’t score. Just have to take everything I can tomorrow.”

US require a Europe-style boost

Being one of only five Americans in the field, and an analyst on the Golf Channel, Chris DiMarco was always going to face questions about the US Ryder Cup team’s recent record. A two-time participant in the biennial battle, DiMarco was asked what the US need to do to curb a run of eight defeats in the past 10 matches. “Focus on why the Europeans have been outplaying us for years now,” he said. “We need to go to a similar voting system.”

Vucinic moonlights as a photographer

As the Arabian Gulf League’s top-scorer this season, Mirko Vucinic is used to being the focus of flashbulbs. But yesterday the roles were reversed for the Al Jazira striker, as he wandered around the National Course happily clicking away on his camera phone at Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, in blissful ­anonymity.

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