Walker Cup stars Mullen and Dunne share Alfred Dunhill lead

Jimmy Mullen started playing golf aged just three
As an amateur, Mullen recorded a perfect 4-0 score in last month's Walker Cup
Alfred Dunhill Links Championship first-round leaderboard:
-8 K Broberg (Swe), J Mullen (Eng), P Dunne (Irl); -7 S Kjeldsen (Den), R Bland (Eng), A Wall (Eng); -6 M Fraser (NZ); -5 P Lawrie (Irl), A Levy (Fra), J Morrison (Eng), S Gallacher (Sco), M Lampert (Ger); Selected others: -4 G McDowell (NI), M Kaymer (Ger)

England's Jimmy Mullen and Ireland's Paul Dunne made strong starts to their professional careers as they shared the first-day lead at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

The Walker Cup team-mates shot eight-under 64s to join Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg at the top of the leaderboard.

The pair helped Britain and Ireland beat the USA in last month's amateur matchplay competition at Royal Lytham.

"I've been looking forward to getting started as a pro," said Dunne, 22.

"There's no better place to do it than on a links-style course like this," he added, after his round at Kingsbarns.

The Alfred Dunhill tournament sees fourballs made up of two professionals and two amateur players, alternate between links courses at Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and the Old Course, St Andrews.

Mullen's magic weekend at the Walker Cup
Jimmy Mullen's four wins in the Walker Cup in September made him the first GB&I player to record a perfect 4-0 record since Paul Casey and Luke Donald at Nairn in 1999.

Mullen, like Dunne, played the low-scoring Kingsbarns first, while Broberg compiled his 64 on the Old Course at St Andrews.

"I didn't quite expect to shoot eight under first time out," said 21-year-old Mullen, from Royal North Devon. "Pablo Larrazabal, my playing partner, helped me along. He's such a nice guy. It was just a jolly out there really.

"I know the Old Course and Carnoustie better than Kingsbarns. I played Carnoustie five times one year in the British Amateur and I've played St Andrews lots of times. To start my career there is a dream, really."

On the first day of his professional career, he recorded eight birdies and an eagle, while Dunne, who led the Open at St Andrews in July after 54 holes before fading, shot a hole-in-one at the 205-yard 15th.

"I kind of needed it," he said. "I got off to a bit of a ropey start."

Soeren Kjeldsen, Richard Bland and Anthony Wall are in a tie for fourth, a shot behind the leaders, while Germany's two-time major winner Martin Kaymer had the joint-best round at Carnoustie with a 68.

Defending champion Oliver Wilson only managed a 74 at St Andrews.

Paul Dunne played college golf at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, USA
Paul Dunne played college golf at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, USA

Top Stories