Thursday, 04 October 2018
Marcus Fraser  (Getty Images)
Marcus Fraser (Getty Images)

Marcus Fraser carded a brilliant 68 in very testing conditions at the Championship Course Carnoustie to take the clubhouse lead on day one of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Course records were set last year at both Carnoustie and the Old Course at St Andrews in this event but there was little chance of that on Thursday with very high winds making scoring extremely difficult for the professionals and amateurs alike.

Fraser is 175th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and battling to keep his card but the Australian found some sensational form in Scotland, getting to four under and leading the way at one of the European Tour's most highly-anticipated events.

The first three days are played over Carnoustie, the Old Course and Kingsbarns Golf Links, with the cut coming on Saturday after all players have played all three courses.

Each player also has an amateur partner, with big names from the worlds of sport, music, business and much more teeing it up on the east coast.

Thai Phachara Khongwatmai and South Korea's Jinho Choi fired rounds of 69 at St Andrews and Kingsbarns respectively to sit at three under alongside Austrian Matthias Schwab and England's Matt Wallace, who were playing their back nines.

Fraser birdied the 12th, 14th and 16th to hit the front while Khongwatmai turned in 34 with birdies on the tenth and 18th.

The 19 year old then holed his second on the par four second and leapfrogged Fraser into the lead.

Choi had birdies on the third and eighth and added another on the 12th to get within one of the lead, where he replaced Fraser who bogeyed the fourth.

Schwab - playing at Carnoustie - birdied the 12th to add to gains on the third and ninth and when Khongwatmai dropped his first shot of the day on the fifth, there was a three-way tie.

There were 27 players within two shots of the lead which was joined again by Fraser, who birdied the seventh, while Schwab dropped a shot on the 13th.

Wallace had bogeyed the fourth at St Andrews but made three birdies in a row and then holed a monster putt on the ninth to get to three under.

Khongwatmai soon burst out of that group, however, putting an approach to eight feet and making a birdie on the seventh.

Those at three under were now the chasing pack and Schwab joined it by birdieing the par five 15th.

A Khongwatmai bogey on the eighth dropped him back into a tie but when Fraser holed a 20-footer on the ninth for a four under total, he had the clubhouse lead.

Australian Lucas Herbert was in the clubhouse at two under alongside Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, German Marcel Siem and local favourite Stephen Gallacher who were out on the course

Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood, Alexander Levy and Tom Lewis were finished for the day at one under, with reigning US Open and US PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka also in that group with two to play.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T2HATTON, TyrrellENG18-14
T5LI, HaotongCHN18-10
T5PAVAN, AndreaITA18-10

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