Saudi International: Justin Rose seven shots behind Thomas Pieters after first round

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Justin Rose beat three birdies and three bogeys in his opening round Saudi International, leader leaderboard for the first round – 7 T Pieters (Bel); -5 Z Lombard (SA), R Paratore (Ita), A Plant (J), J Harding (SA), R Fisher (Eng), J McLeod (Aus) Other selected: -4 C Paisley (Eng); -3 B Dredge (Wal), S Jamieson (Sco), M Southgate (Eng); -2 S Horsfield (R), R Ramsay (Sco), I Poulter (Eng); -1 L Westwood (Eng); Level J Rose Full Scoreboard

The number one in England, Justin Rose, is seven shots from the start after the first day of the inaugural Saudi International event in the European Tour.

The Belgian Thomas Pieters scored a seven-under-par 63 and leads two of a six-piece group including Ross Fisher and Alfie Plant from England.

American threefold big winner Brooks Koepka ended in one match under

"I had the opportunity to hit a lot of shots close to the hole and could not make the putts," Rose said.

The 38-year-old won his 10th PGA Tour title in San Diego on Sunday but struggled on Thursday with an opening round with three birdies and three bogeys.

"Collectively our group was probably the worst lap I have seen for three professional golfers in a long, long time, but the greens were very difficult, very, very grainy, it was difficult to take into account keep it, "he said.

"I've probably missed 10 putts, probably within six to ten feet, you make half of it and it's a good round of golf."

Pieters took advantage of hitting his " wedges and short irons, very close to the hole ".

The Belgian added: "I think I had maybe 10 good chances for birdie and made seven of them.It was a very good day on the greens.

" If you & # 39; in the morning, you must achieve a good score. It needs some wind and with wind they can stop the pins. pretty good here. The last eight, nine holes we got a little wind, but maybe half a wind, so it's not that much. "

The Saudi International has attracted a field of top class, despite critical research on the human rights of the country

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Turkey has given further attention. on the subject.

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