Daly tames 'brutal' conditions in Qatar as Fernandez-Castaño leads

    John Daly described conditions on day one of the Qatar Masters as "brutal" after sandstorms raged on the course.

    Story highlights

    • Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano leads the Qatar Masters on six-under-par
    • Spaniard one shot ahead of American John Daly as sandstorms affect day one
    • Daly describes conditions at the Doha Golf Club as "brutal"
    • Jason Day and K.J. Choi tied on four-under with five players a further shot back
    American veteran John Daly tamed "brutal" sandstorm conditions in Qatar to record a five-under-par round and sit one shot behind leader Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
    Daly, who was playing his first tournament after a near six-week break from the game, battled strong gusts and swirling sand in Doha to shoot a bogey-free round of 67.
    The 55-year-old, who can boast two major titles, no longer holds a U.S. PGA Tour card, but made light of the tough conditions.
    "I'm pretty shocked," he told the European Tour's official website. "I had five-and-a -half weeks off and really didn't touch a club much.
    "It's one of the best rounds I've ever played in a wind like that. You feel like you are eating a lot of sand."
    The only man who had a better day than 1995 British Open winner Daly was Fernandez-Castano who recorded nine birdies alongside three bogeys.
    "I would have taken level par," said Fernandez-Castano, who missed nearly six months of action last year due to a back injury.
    "We couldn't see the ball landing on the fairways and I just tried to keep it as low as possible. I think I just got lucky and holed some important putts. Putting is the most difficult thing on a windy day."
    Australian Jason Day and K.J. Choi, from Korea, are two shots back from Fernandez-Castano on four-under while five players were tied on three-under, including 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie.
    World number two Lee Westwood finished on one-under as did Europe's 2012 Ryder Cup captain, Jose Maria Olazabal, from Spain.
    Westwood took to social-networking site Twitter after his opening round to complain about slow play on day one.
    He said: "To say we are pros and there's no rough out there and we are supposed to know what we are doing, the pace of play today was a disgrace."
    He later added: "I was referring to the general speed of play nearly every week now not any one person in particular. Same last week (in Abu Dhabi)."