Paul Dunne leads the Irish challenge at the Abu Dhabi Championship

Greystones golfer is on 4-under

Paul Dunne has put himself within four shots off the lead on 4 under after a 68 on Day One of the Abu Dhabi Championship.

The Greystones golfer is in a  17 way tie for 10th place on the leaderboard alongside Team Europe 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas  Bjorn of Denmark and England's Lee Westwood. 

Dunne made headway at the start of the back nine when he was on 1-under.

Four birdies in a row on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th saw him build considerable momentum before he bogeyed the 17th to finish on 4-under for the day.  

Reigning European Tour golfer of the year Henrik Stenson leads by two shots on 8 under after a 64.

Like Dunne, the Swedish major winner fared better on the back nine where he picked up birdies on the 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 17th and 18th holes. 

He did not drop a shot during his opening round of action.

Germany's Martin Kaymer is in a four way tie for second on 6 under, two shots off the lead. 

Darren Clarke ended on 3 over for the day, including four bogeys on the back nine.

On Monday, Rory McIlroy announced that he will miss the Abu Dhabi Championship because of a rib injury sustained en route to second place at the South Africa Open which he lost in a playoff to Graeme Storm on Sunday.