ONE over the eight proved a tonic for York’s swing commander Simon Dyson in his first fling in the Dubai Desert Classic.

The winner of six European Tour titles posted a two-under-par 70 on the opening day to match his best round so far of the nine he has completed this year.

Dyson carded rounds of 75, 70, 72 and 71 in the Abu Dhabi Championship followed by 71, 72, 72 and 71 in last week’s Qatar Masters.

So his two-under 70 yesterday represented a step up in form, though his inward nine proved one of the most turbulent the world number 74 has played for many a month.

On the first nine the Malton & Norton GC ace saw a bogey on the par-four fifth erased by his first birdie of the day on the par-four eighth.

But then came a see-sawing second nine.

Dropped shots on the 12th and 15th holes were eased by no fewer than four birdies, Dyson collecting shots on the tenth, 13th, 16th and the last hole.

However, with the first-round clubhouse leader South Africa’s Richard Sterne ahead of the rest by one shot after carding a ten-under-par 62, Dyson was well off the pace going into today’s second round and his drive to make a third successive cut.