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Richard Sterne thought about breaking Ernie Els¿ course record during his 62

Last Updated: 31/01/13 5:12pm

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Richard Sterne: Close to breaking Ernie Els' course record in Dubai

Richard Sterne: Close to breaking Ernie Els' course record in Dubai

Sky Bet

Richard Sterne admits the thought of breaking compatriot Ernie Els' course record crossed his mind during his stunning opening round of 62 at the Dubai Desert Classic.

The South African made ten birdies as he finished one shot clear of Scotland's Stephen Gallacher on a day of low-scoring at the Emirates Golf Club.

Asked if he had given any thought to eclipsing Els, Sterne told Sky Sports: "Yeah, it was (in my mind). They used to have a car here (for breaking the course record), I see they've taken it away, but 62 isn't too bad round here."

Sterne is back playing a full schedule this season after being hampered by a persistent back complaint over the past couple of years and is looking to add to his haul of five European Tour wins.

"Hopefully I can just play a full season again, 25 or 26 events, and to hopefully get some wins under my belt and get back in the majors," he continued.

Top 50 target

"I want to get back into the top 50 in the world, I enjoyed it when I was there in 2008, 2009 and I'm working hard to get back there."

Paul Casey, another player dogged by injury problems in recent times, also made an encouraging start as he posted a 66 to form part of a six-man group in a tie for sixth.

Tournament director Mike Stewart had sent a letter to players in advance of the event alerting them to the poor condition of the greens, but Casey was puzzled by the warning, stating: "I scratch my head slightly - they are absolutely pure.

"I have no idea what he was talking about. It's the best-conditioned golf course I've played this year by far. The guys are going to go bananas when you have a course as good as this."

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