(Reuters) - Australian Marcus Fraser and England’s Matt Wallace birdied their final holes to share the lead at four under par after the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday.
Fraser, 175th in the Race to Dubai rankings, carded a 68 at a gusty Carnoustie while Wallace matched that score at the Old Course in St Andrews.
“I just sort of stuck it out most of the day and waited for the putts to drop and at the end I made a couple of good par saves. A nice long one at the end from about 30 feet,” said Fraser, who birdied two of his last three holes.
The European Tour pro-am event is played across three Scottish courses, with several players who featured at last week’s Ryder Cup in France.
Irish pair Paul McGinley, the 2014 Ryder Cup captain, and Padraig Harrington played their opening round at Kingsbarns and were in a group of five on 69, one stroke off the leaders.
That included Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai, playing at St. Andrews.
Two-time defending champion Tyrrell Hatton and U.S. Open winner Brooks Koepka, also playing at Kingsbarns, were a further shot down at two-under while fellow Ryder Cup player Tommy Fleetwood was at one-under.
A female spectator was hit on the head by a wayward golf ball struck by Hatton with the woman, seen bleeding from the head, treated at the 15th hole before being taken by buggy to the medical center.
The incident came a week after a woman was reportedly blinded in one eye at the Ryder Cup after being struck by a tee shot hit by world number three Koepka.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris