EDDIE Pepperell needs to find improvement to make the cut after shooting a level par in the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The Abingdon golfer had birdies at the second, tenth and 13th holes, but these were offset by a bogey at the 12th and a double-bogey at the 16th.

His score put him six shots behind the early pacesetter and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, who shot a flawless round of 66.

Rory McIlroy fired a 69, but his playing partner, world No 1 Dustin Johnson, only managed a level par 72.