ST. ANDREWS, Scotland. English golfer Richard Mansell weathered bad weather by hitting a stunning under-68 ball on the old course to open a two-shot lead midway through the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.
Mansell hit five birdies and one bogey to set off the lowest round of the day and move 10 under par as high winds and heavy rain made life difficult for players on all three receiving courses.
Sweden’s Alex Noren was alone in second with 8 under his 69 at Kingsbarns, while Dane Niklas Nørgaard Moller and France’s Antoine Rosner tied for third behind 74 at St Andrews and Carnoustie respectively.
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Home favorite Robert McIntyre bounced back in the 6th tier thanks to his 70’s at Kingsbarns.
Opening his second round on the sixth hole due to shotgun starts on all three courses on Friday morning, Mansell birdied on the seventh, ninth, 10th and 12th to catapult to the top of the leaderboard.
But as conditions deteriorated, the birds suddenly disappeared from the agenda, and the priority became the struggle not to lose ground.
Mansell spooked 16th but made several significant saves at par before birding on the fifth – his last hole – to go out with a two-stroke lead.
Englishman Eddie Pepperell remembers the day he hit a superb hole-in-one on the eighth hole of Kingsbarns.
“It was an Iron 6, I was just trying to keep it out of a little right-to-left wind, and it turned online and just rolled over there, leaning in,” Pepperell said.