[FILE PHOTO] Matt Wallace.
Matt Wallace grabbed an early share of the lead at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, as Paul McGinley rolled back the years in Scotland yesterday, reports skysports.com.
Wallace defied blustery conditions to post a four-under 68 on the Old Course at St. Andrews – one of three courses used in the event – and join Marcus Fraser at the top of the leaderboard.
Fraser birdied two of his three last holes at Carnoustie to set the early clubhouse target, while McGinley and Padraig Harrington posted matching 69s at Kingsbarns to sit in the group of five players a shot off the pace.
Two-time defending champion Tyrrell Hatton recovered from a poor start to join world No 3 Brooks Koepka on two under, with Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood a further stroke back.
“It’s probably the toughest wind I’ve played this course in today,” Fraser said. “It was nice to play pretty steady and hole a few putts.
Downwind was just as hard as into the wind, it was really tricky to control it and try to get the right distances.”
Beginning on the back nine, Fraser posted three birdies in a five-hole stretch from the 12th and cancelled out a blemish at the fourth by picking up a shot at the seventh and holing a long-range gain at the ninth.
Wallace made a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth, drained a 50-footer at the ninth and posted a two-putt gain at the 14th to move tied at the top, before bouncing back from a bogey at the 15th to birdie his final hole of the day.
McGinley and Harrington sit alongside Phachara Khongwatmai, Jinho Choi and Matthias Schwab, while Hatton bounced back from hitting a spectator with his ball to post an opening-round 70 at Kingsbarns.
Fleetwood was three over with eight holes to play but still ended the day in red figures, while Amercian stars Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar both opened with one-over 73s.