Alfred Dunhill Links Championship



Grace shines in Scotland

Branden Grace/getty

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was set alight by Branden Grace, who shot a course record breaking -12 under par 60 in his first round at the Kingsbarn Course in Scotland. Branden has become the 15th player in European Tour history to shoot 60, and he now tops the leaderboard in this three course tournament, at -12 under par.

South African Branden was looking for a 59;

“It could have been a 59, I said to my caddy when I hit it stiff on 18 that it could be close to a 59.”

It was a day for low scores in this event, Victor Dubuisson of France shot a course-record -10 under par 62 on the famous Old Course at St. Andrews, it’s one of three venues staging the tournament. Victor holds second place on his own, with Thorbjorn Olsen, also playing St Andrews,  one shot behind him at -9 under par with his 63, and third place alone.

There were also three players who 64 at St Andrews, Alexander Noren, Fredrik Anderson Hed, and Ashley Hall.

Best score from the players on Carnoustie course was Oliver Wilson and Gregory Haveret, who both had a -5 under par round of 67, which was only good enough to tie them for 19th place. They must be hoping St Andrews stays as benign for their rounds so they can make up some of the ground. Out of the top 15 scores on the board, 12 of them came from St Andrews, with Carnoustie being the toughest to play.

Englishman Oliver Wilson was very pleased with his performance;

“I played very solidly and had no bogeys, which is always nice, I holed a 20-footer on the last for par. My confidence just kept going up as I went along. All year, the good has been good and the bad has been really bad, which doesn’t work.  I’ve changed coaches and gone back to Mike Walker, who I worked with when I was playing my best. I’m much happier. It’s just kind of going back to doing what I did before and looking at why I did so well, and just learning what those important parts of the swing are that are imperative for me to play well. It really comes down to the take-away.  If I can get the take-away in the correct position, I play well, and I probably haven’t put as much focus on that over the last year to 18 months as I needed to. I’ve probably got two more events this season after this one, so I really want to get a top ten to get into the Portugal Masters next week. I’m 137th in The Race to Dubai so I need to play well between now and the end of the year.”

Tomorrow should even things up a bit and we will get a clearer view of where everybody is in this three course tournament.