Oliver Wilson leads in Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

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Oliver Wilson carded a superb eight-under par 64 as he leads after day one of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The Englishman played during the 2008 Ryder Cup and is leading four European hero's in the field in Scotland.

Wilson is ranked number 792 in the lead but leads France's Raphael Jacquelin while Ryder Cup vice-captain Padraig Harrington is in third alongside fellow Irishman Shane Lowry.

The pro-am event uses three course with Wilson playing his round at the Carnoustie course while Lowry's 66 was the best score of the day at the Kingsbarns course.

Lost Tour card

Wilson lost his Tour card in 2012 and is currently attempting to win it back through the Challenge Tour. The 34-year old has finished runner-up on nine occasions on the European Tour during his career, including this event five years ago.

Wilson believes that playing the Carnoustie course first could work in his favour.

"Looking at the forecast, getting Carnoustie out of the way is theoretically the best thing, but you've still got to go and play and shoot a good score to take advantage of it, and I'm delighted that I have," he said.

The Englishman partnered Henrik Stenson to defeat Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim six years ago to win a point for Europe after being four holes down. He admitted that it's been a long time since he rekindled the kind of form that saw him compete in golf's greatest competition.

"It's been a while since I played like that, though.


"I want to be back there, definitely, and it's inspiring to watch. The boys played awesome last week. You look at the team, they are so strong now, got so many big, big names, big players in there."

Wilson acknowledges that it won't be easy to earn himself another Ryder Cup appearance but hopes playing in a great event like the Dunhill Links will help him.

"It will be tough to get back in there but for me, you watch it and then you come and play a tournament like this, which is fantastic. Dunhill Links is always one of the best tournaments of the year," Wilson said.

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Harrington had matched Wilson's scorecard throughout the day but finished with two successive bogeys. Harrington has fond memories of this course after he won the first of his back-to-back Open title at Carnoustie in 2007.


"That was a little boost on the first tee box. That sort of thing is a good reminder. The spectators, that sort of thing, does remind you of good days back in 2007."

Harrington also admitted that celebrations after the Ryder Cup victory on Sunday wasn't the ideal preparation for this tournament.


"Every week is a new week on Tour. I certainly enjoyed last week and I particularly enjoyed Sunday night. Maybe my preparation wasn't ideal coming in here on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but I know the golf courses well so I didn't have to play a lot before I got into the tournament to play here. I'm comfortable on them."

Stephen Gallacher managed the best score out of the four players that played at Gleneagles with a round of 68. Fellow Ryder Cup debutant Victor Dubuisson shot a 71 while Martin Kaymer could only manage a 74.

World number one Rory McIlroy posted a round of 73 with European captain Paul McGinley a shot ahead of him after a 72 in just his second European Tour event since July.

McIlroy was in magnificent form when he last appeared on the golf course when he beat Rickie Fowler 5&4 in the singles at Gleneagles. But the Northern Irishman, who went round with his day, managed just one birdie during his round on Thursday and admitted the tournament is a lot different to last week's Ryder Cup.


"A little bit flat, if I'm honest," McIlroy told Sky Sports when asked about his round. "Obviously with the crowds and everything we were playing in front of last week, to come here it seems a little quiet out there, but it was fun to get to play with my dad.

"I wish I had played a bit better and made a few more birdies but hopefully that will happen over the next couple of days.

"I want to win every week and I want to play well this week and at least give myself a chance. It was not the best score out there for me but we got the hardest course out of the way."

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