Rory McIlroy bogeyed the final hole to miss out on a share of the clubhouse lead during the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday.
McIlroy settled for a 6-under 66 to sit one stroke behind a trio of players that included Lee Westwood.
In ideal playing conditions, Westwood made long birdie putts on two of his last four holes to join Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium and fellow Englishman Andy Sullivan in the lead.
Colsaerts also made bogey on his last hole, while Westwood closed with a 15-foot birdie putt.
Defending champion Stephen Gallacher joined McIlroy with a 66, while Germany's Martin Kaymer started with a 67.
Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa pulled out of the European Tour event with back problems.