Doha, Qatar (SportsNetwork.com) - Oliver Fisher fired a 7-under 65 in Wednesday's opening round as he grabbed a 1-stroke lead at the Qatar Masters.
Fisher's lone European Tour win came at the 2011 Czech Open. In six previous starts at this event, Fisher missed the cut twice and his best finish was a share of 11th in 2007.
Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello opened with a 6-under 66 at Doha Golf Club and he is alone in second place.
Ernie Els, the 2005 champion, started his round with three birdies in the first four holes. He later birdied the last for a 5-under 67. He was joined in third by two-time winner Paul Lawrie, 2003 champion Darren Fichardt, Branden Grace, Mark Foster, Moritz Lampert, Byeong-Hun An, Emiliano Grillo, Alexander Noren, Kristoffer Broberg and Alejandro Canizares, who shared fifth place last year.
Justin Rose is among eight players tied for 14th at minus-4, while defending champion Sergio Garcia opened with a 3-under 69.
World No. 2 Henrik Stenson, Alvaro Quiros and Robert Karlsson, all former champions, are among a large group tied 35th at minus-2.
Fisher played the back nine first on Wednesday and he birdied two of the first three holes. He faltered to a bogey on the par-3 13th and parred the next two holes.
The 26-year-old converted a birdie chance at the 16th and he followed with birdies at 17 and 18 en route to making the turn at minus-4.
Fisher parred the first three holes of the front nine. He inched within one of the lead with a birdie at the fourth. A birdie on No. 6 moved him alongside Cabrera-Bello. Fisher moved atop the leaderboard with a birdie on the par-3 eighth.
"I played nice today. It was a little bit breezy and I felt like I controlled my golf ball. I played good and gave myself a lot of chances so it was a good round," Fisher stated. "It's a great field like last week. I'm out there giving it my all every time until the last shot and hopefully add them up at the end of the day and hopefully it's a good run."
Cabrera-Bello also played the back nine first in round one. He parred five of the first six holes, to go with a birdie at the 12th. He picked up his second birdie at the 16th.
The Spaniard kicked off a run of three straight birdies at the 18th. That run moved him to minus-5. Cabrera-Bello ran off five pars in a row from the third. He birdied the eighth before closing with a par at the ninth.
"I'm very pleased and happy with the way I played," said Cabrera-Bello. "I had a good stretch through 16, and all the way through to two, which for me are the birdie holes where you can go low. I managed to do that with three birdies there, and just kept playing solid till I got home."
NOTES: Fisher shared 12th place last week in Abu Dhabi ... Rose in playing in his 250th European Tour event ... There were 10 bogey-free rounds on day one.