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Jacquelin one shot ahead of Lowry and Harrington at Dunhill Links

11 of the top 12 scores came from players who were at Kingsbarns on Friday and Carnoustie on Thursday.

Padraig Harrington on the second hole during round two of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Kingsbarns Golf course.
Padraig Harrington on the second hole during round two of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Kingsbarns Golf course.

FRANCE’S RAPHAEL JACQUELIN moved to the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.

Jacquelin shot a 70 at the pro-am event to move nine under par — one shot ahead of Irish duo Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington, England’s Oliver Wilson and France’s Alexander Levy.

11 of the top 12 scores came from players who were at Kingsbarns on Friday and Carnoustie on Thursday, when calm conditions meant traditionally the hardest of the three venues played relatively easy.

Wind and rain made scoring more difficult on Friday but Jacquelin birdied his final two holes to move into pole position for a fifth European Tour title.

“I’m pretty happy, especially the way I finished. I birdied 17 and 18 so it was good before having dinner and going to rest,” Jacquelin said.

“I’ve been working hard every year since the last 20 years to be at this position. I feel good. It’s a long weekend.”

Lowry, who finished joint third in this event 12 months ago, was the only player in the top 12 to play at St Andrews on Friday, meaning he will face Carnoustie on Saturday before the final round is again played over the Old Course.

“To be honest, the way I played to shoot two under was quite good,” said Lowry after a round containing four bogeys and six birdies.

“The forecast was pretty bad today and everyone was expecting the worst, but it wasn’t actually that bad.”

Scottish duo Richie Ramsay and Chris Doak are two shots off the pace on seven under, with compatriot Stephen Gallacher another shot back and Gallacher’s European Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy five off the lead on four under.

McIlroy started the day nine shots off the pace and dropped back to two over par with a bogey on the 14th.

However, the world number one responded in style with a superb fairway-wood approach to the par five 16th and rolled in the eagle putt from 15 feet on his way to a round of 67 at Kingsbarns.

“I think the eagle on 16 kickstarted something for me,” he said. “I just went from there, started to knock a few putts in.

“I felt like I struck the ball pretty well for the first couple of days, but just to see a few putts roll in sort of gave me a little bit of confidence and played well after that.”

- © AFP, 2014

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