GUIDO Migliozzi fired a flawless round of 66 to rediscover his form and take the first round lead at the 2020 Oman Open.
The Italian has two European Tour wins from his stunning rookie year on the Race to Dubai last season.
But Migliozzi missed his first three cuts of the 2020 campaign and arrived at Al Mouj Golf without a bogey-free round since the Turkish Airlines Open in November.
The 23-year-old showed his class that week in Antalya as he achieved his first top 10 in a Rolex Series event.
And during round one in the desert he once again showed why he is a major rising star on the European Tour.
A delighted Migliozzi said: “It’s very good to start the tournament with a 66 and a bogey free round.
“It’s a good feeling to work my way into this beautiful course and tournament.
“Obviously, I will try to give my best over the week and for the rest of the year,” added the winner of the Magical Kenya Open and the Belgian Knockout.
“I think the whole course is good. It’s tricky because the greens are tough and tight and there are a lot of things which need your attention – like the wind and the release of the ball.
“You can play each hole in a few different styles and it’s really cool and all the players are really happy to play here,” added Guido Migliozzi.
“It’s a good feeling to be a European Tour winner already. I like to win, and I hope one day will come when I win again.”
Migliozzi’s six birdies moved him to six-under, one shot ahead of 18-year-old Dane Rasmus Højgaard, South Korean Taehee Lee and South Africa’s Brandon Stone.
Rasmus Højgaard – who won on his European Tour debut as a pro in his first start in Mauritius in December – said: “The conditions when I started out were a bit tricky.
“The wind was up a little bit so it was a bit of a battle but I got through it.
“This course is quite wide from the tee box, which is very nice, and I’m putting well.
“You have to have good speed on the greens out here because you’re going to be faced with some long putts. That was the key today.
“It might have come as a little surprise that I won so early on the European Tour, but I was playing well in my last year as an amateur – and I carried that confidence into the professional game.
“My goal this year is to be the Rookie of the Year and have multiple wins, so that’s what I’m chasing.”
Of course, last year’s winner in Oman was Kurt Kitayama who recorded his second win in his rookie season at Al Mouj – a feat matched last summer by Migliozzi.
Will that be a good portent for young Dane, whose twin brother Nicolai – another very promising prospect – is in the field in Oman?
Stone, who won his first Rolex Series event at the 2018 Scottish Open, said: “I’m always going to have a soft spot for this golf course.
“This is where I earned my playing rights from the Challenge Tour, so I have some history here and I played nicely here last year too.
“I love the course – it’s in my top five in the world, if I’m being honest, and every year coming back is an absolute pleasure.
“Last year was a fantastic year for me – even though the results weren’t there – because we put a lot of structure in place, physically and mentally.
“We did it to transform me as a person as well as a golfer, and I feel like the base work is there at the moment. My game feels fantastic and I’m feeling physically the best I ever have.
There is a group of eight players at four-under including former Ryder Cup players Victor Dubuisson, Ross Fisher, Stephen Gallacher and Andy Sullivan.
Joost Luiten – the 2018 champion – is in a group of 10 players at three -under, with five players returning to complete their finals holes on Friday morning due to darkness.
•For live scoring in the second round click here.