The Commercialbank Qatar Masters is proving to be a tough challenge for some of the top players.
Steve Stricker's nightmare start highlighted the difficulties that some players are facing, with the American hitting four bogeys in the opening six holes.
Retief Goosen was the early clubhouse leader after carding a classy 69 to go in three under par.
Pre-tournament favourite and world number two Martin Kaymer enjoyed a steady start, coming through the first five holes unscathed.
And defending champion Robert Karlsson staked an early claim with a comfortable two under par round of 70.
Englishman Lee Westwood could lose his spot at the top of the world rankings if Kaymer wins the event and he fails to claim runner-up spot. The 37-year-old is back in the clubhouse on one over par.