Thursday, October 06, 2016

Noren leads Dunhill Links Championship after 

record-equalling 64 at Carnoustie
Alex Noren will take a narrow one-shot lead into day two of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after he equalled the course record at Carnoustie today
The Swede fired eight birdies in a flawless 64 at the course widely regarded as the toughest of the three host venues to sit one stroke clear of Englishman Ross Fisher after his first round.
Matt Ford and Joakim Lagergren are in a tie for third on six under after producing opening rounds of 66.
Beginning his first round at the tenth tee, Noren carded birdies at three of his first five holes to reach the turn in 33.
After starting his back nine with another gain at the first, he holed a tricky birdie putt at the fifth to take a share of the lead on five under.
The 34 year old picked up another shot at the long sixth before saving par at the next.
And Noren finished with a flourish, rolling in from 15 feet for a birdie at the eighth before repeating the trick from 12 feet at the ninth to move to eight under.

Noren was delighted with his first-round display. He said: "I putted great and then yeah, got it going. It was tough conditions but probably one of the best rounds I've played, so I'm very happy right now.
"The course, all three courses, are in probably the best shape I've ever seen them. The greens are running great. It's in great shape."
Speaking about Carnoustie, Noren added: "I like it but I've never shot lower than maybe 71 here. I didn't expect much but it went better than I expected."
Fisher, starting from the tenth tee at Kingsbarns, reached the turn in 35 after making just one birdie on his front nine.
But the 35 year old caught fire on the back nine, following up an eagle at the third with a birdie at the next before making back-to-back gains at the sixth and seventh to move to six under.
And Fisher reduced Noren's lead to one when he rolled in his birdie putt at the ninth - his last.
Noren's countryman Lagergren notched six birdies and no bogeys in his first round.
He was pleased with his putting on Thursday. He said: "I played very well and was solid all day, I would say. I putted really well and made some great saves coming in on the last five or six holes."




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