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Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, 2nd Round

Branden Grace  (Getty Images)

Branden Grace/getty images

Branden Grace cemented his place at the top of the leaderboard in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland on Friday with a 2nd round score of -5 under par 67, on the St Andrews Old Course. Branden now has a total tournament score of -17 under par, 5 shots clear of the two players tied in second place on -12 under par. Branden suffered his first bogey, on the fourth hole at the home of Golf, but then bounced back with six birdies on the day;

” As soon as I made the birdie at the fifth I settled down and got things going and the form of yesterday kicked in. The putts kept going in and I made three 25 footers which was nice.I think the way I’m playing and hitting the ball I’m looking forward to playing Carnoustie. The putter is going and I’m looking forward to it.”

The two players who are five shots back are Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Sweden’s wonderfully dressed Joel Sjoholm, his plus fours outfit is totally in keeping with Scotland and Links courses.

Joel Sjoholm  (Getty Images)

Joel Sjoholm/getty images

Joel played himself into contention on day two of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with a second round -5 under par 67 on the Old Course at St Andrews. Joel said he loved the course at St Andrews;

“It was a pleasure, this was the first time I have played 18 holes at St Andrews, so it’s been an absolutely fantastic adventure for me.
It has been a really good day.  Now I honestly understand why everybody’s talking so much about it, and I don’t know the history, so you cannot quiz me on that, but I guess that on a course like this a lot of things can happen. I can see myself that today I’ve been a little bit lucky, I’m hitting drives, they might be in the bunker or all these bushes everywhere and we find them and some guys might just stripe it in the fairway.  This course is absolutely amazing.”

Thorbjorn, an equally strikingly dressed golfer, usually in very bright dazzling colors, remained near the top of the leaderboard for second day with his round of -3 under par 69 on the challenging Carnoustie Championship Course. Thorbjorn was happy with his good play over the two days. He spoke about the good friendship his has with Joel and how that rivalry inspired him on his last hole of the day, to go for a birdie and tie Joel for second spot;

“It’s been good the last two days, definitely, I hit a lot of solid drives and good irons too.  I actually thought I left a few out there today,         it could have been a few more but three under is still a good score at Carnoustie. I was standing on the last three holes and I thought, ‘I need to make a birdie just to tie him, It was quite funny. We have a really good friendship and I think that’s good for our games also.”

Paul Casey had some fun with a stray dog on the course at Kingsbarns;

Paul Casey  (Getty Images)

Paul Casey/getty images

Paul said of his encounter with the dog;

” The wee dog was roaming around this morning on the first tee when we teed off 10, so we got to the 12th fairway, the dog is running around, and to be honest it just looked like it was a little bit lost. So I went over and made friends with it on the back of the 12th green and next thing I know, the thing runs over and picks up my ball.  I had about 30 feet for eagle.  I was trying to get him to put it in the hole, but then he ran off with it up the hill toward the 13th tee. There was a moment when panic set in when I was wondering if I would have to play it where I found it!”

Another aside to a splendid day was from American Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 22 medals. Michael can add to his tally of records with his first record of his  new career sport of golf. He has entered the record books for making the longest putt ever televised, with a 159 foot putt at the 6th hole on the Kingsbarns course in this tournament.

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