Louis Oosthuizen was on song during the first round on Thursday and shot 69 in Dubai to share eighth place at the end of the day.
The 2010 Open Champion made his way round with only one bogey on the card to close out the first 18 on three-under-par, three shots behind leaders Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy.
Oosthuizen began the week at 20th in the Race to Dubai and a big result this week could help him to end the year within the bounds of the top 10.
Day one is complete and there is plenty of golf to come. Ryder Cup stars Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose are thereabouts, while world number one McIlroy at the start of the week declared his intent to win.
For Oosthuizen the opening round of 69 presents a chance to make good at the last tournament of the European season. His past heroics at The Old Course at St. Andrews and at Augusta National make him a great underdog in the titanic battle for the DP World Tour Championship trophy. Roll on the next three days.