Alfred Dunhill Links: Oliver Wilson sets early pace

Oliver Wilson
Oliver Wilson made nine birdies over the Carnoustie course
Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, first round leaderboard
-8 O Wilson (Eng), -7 R Jacquelin (Fra), - 6 P Harrington (Ire), S Lowry (Ire). Selected others: -4 S Gallacher (Sco), -1 V Dubuisson (Fra), Par P McGinley (Ire), +1 R McIlroy (NI), +2 M Kaymer (Ger)

Oliver Wilson leads on eight under par after the first day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The 34-year-old Englishman leads Raphael Jacquelin of France by a stroke, with both men opening the tournament at Carnoustie.

Scotland's Stephen Gallacher fared best of the Ryder Cup-winning stars involved, shooting a four-under-par 68.

World number one Rory McIlroy struggled to reproduce his Gleneagles form, finishing one over par.

The lucrative pro-am event is played over Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Old Course in St Andrews, which also plays host to Sunday's final round.

Carnoustie is traditionally the hardest of the courses but was playing relatively easy in benign conditions.

Winning Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley was one shot better off than McIlroy, with both men playing Carnoustie.

"(It was) a little bit flat, if I'm honest," McIlroy told Sky Sports. "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."

Padraig Harrington, a vice-captain at Gleneagles, finished with two bogeys at Carnoustie, the course where he won the first of his back-to-back Open titles in 2007, to finish on 66, two behind Wilson.

Paul McGinley looks on as Kyle MacLachlan plays a shot
Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley looks on as actor Kyle MacLachlan lets fly at Carnoustie

And he is joined on that mark by fellow Irishman Shane Lowry, the best of the players starting at Kingsbarns.

"You go out, your head is down and you're working away and you get on the first tee and the scorer reminds you that you won the Open Championship here, that's kind of nice," said Harrington.

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

"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."

Wilson, who played in Europe's only Ryder Cup defeat this century at Valhalla in 2008, is currently ranked 792 in the world.

"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.

England's Robert Rock and Adrian Otaegui of Span shot 67s for the leading scores over the Old Course, which leaves them in a share of fifth place.

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