ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Romain Wattel had a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 Thursday in earning a share of the lead at the European Tour's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Wattel had a pair of birdies on front-side pars 3s in moving to the top of the leaderboard in the first round.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello overcame a first-hole bogey and Matthew Baldwin owned the lead outright until a final-hole bogey to wind up first-round play tied with Wattel.
In addition to the par-3 birdies at Nos. 4 and 7, Wattel had another at the eighth hole and made the turn at 3-under. He birdied 14 and the par-5 18th for his 5-under 67.
All three of the leaders had birdies at the 18th, a 576-yard hole that saw 68 birdies Thursday and played at 4.51 among the 125 players.
Cabrera-Bello had a 5 on the par-4 first hole but got below par with birdies at Nos. 5 and 6. He played the second nine at 4-under with birdies at 10, back-to-back at 14 and 15 and then at 18.
Baldwin played the second nine first Thursday, opening with a birdie. He also birdied No. 13 but fell back with a bogey at 16. He was 2-under after playing No. 18 and jumped to the lead with birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 and again at 5 and 6. However, a bogey at the par-4 ninth dropped him back into a tie for the lead.