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Adri Arnaus and Sebastian Söderberg among leading trio in Scotland

Adri Arnaus and Sebastian Söderberg among leading trio in Scotland

Sebastian Söderberg made a lightning start and Adri Arnaus produced a fast finish as the duo joined Peter Uihlein at the top of a congested leaderboard after day one of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Swede Söderberg birdied eight of his first ten holes over the Old Course at St Andrews to set the pace, signing for a 64 that would be matched by American Uihlein over the same layout.

Spaniard Arnaus was four shots off the lead with five to play at Carnoustie Golf Links but eagled the 14th before finishing birdie-birdie to join them at eight under with a 64 of his own and make it a three-way tie.

Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, fresh off his heroics as a vice captain in last week's European Ryder Cup victory, was then part of a six-way tie for second at seven under alongside local favourite Grant Forrest, Dane Marcus Helligkilde, American Billy Horschel and South African duo Zander Lombard and Wilco Nienaber.

On a cold and wet day on Scotland's east coast, Söderberg turned in 29 and Ross Fisher's St Andrews course record was looking under threat when he made another birdie on the tenth.

Six consecutive pars ended those hopes, however, and the 33-year-old bogeyed the 17th before a closing birdie ensured he would finish the day on top.

"It was quite easy the first ten holes or so," he said. "Then you kind of turn around going into the wind and it rained a little bit more.

"I thought I played pretty good the last eight holes as well. I just didn't get close enough, didn't really hole the putts but it felt good to finish with a birdie.

"I've had one or two or three really good rounds for a while, I feel like. There's just always been one or two bad rounds every week. So the weekends, they haven't been what I wanted in the last two months or so.

"I feel like there's a lot of good golf in me so I just have to try to clean up the bad golf a little more and try to get around a little better."

Arnaus has finished in the top 25 at this event for the past two seasons and his bogey-free round represented a stunning start at the course regarded as the most difficult of the three being played this week.

"At times it felt easy but this course definitely can show its teeth and you've got to be really careful," he said.

"We continued to play quite good and then we rolled a few putts. A brilliant start, I would say.

"It actually started quite calm and it came around with wind and rain as well. That's really what you are going to expect here so you've just got to embrace the challenge."

Uihlein was the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in 2013, the year he lost out in a play-off at this event, while he also achieved a top ten last season.

"I've had good success here." he said after his bogey-free effort. "I just love it, the golf is pure over here and I like when it gets windy and challenging, it's just a lot of fun, really. You get to be creative and it's just something that I enjoy doing.

"I was close here in 2013 when David Howell beat me in a play-off. Looking back on it, it would have been a really special one to win around here.

"I've always enjoyed coming back and hopefully I can string together three more good days and see what happens."

Söderberg's remarkable start came thanks to some dialled-in iron play, as he put approaches inside 15 feet on seven of his first ten holes. A three-putt at the Road Hole then brought the only bogey of the day before he holed an 18-footer for birdie on the last.

Arnaus started his round with three gains but had to wait until the par-five 12th for another before he holed from 12 feet for an eagle on the 14th. Another birdie came at the 17th and he put his approach to 12 feet on the last.

Uihlein also put on an excellent display of approach play as he made birdies on the first, third, fourth, fifth, ninth, tenth and 12th before holing from nearly 50 feet on the 14th.

Horschel turned in 29 at Carnoustie en route to his 65, while Colsaerts, Helligkilde, Lombard and Nienaber all played at St Andrews, and Forrest went round Kingsbarns.

There was then a group of 13 players at six under including defending champion Ryan Fox.

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