SHANE WARNE showed he can spin a golf ball as well as the cricket version as he shot to the top of the amateur leaderboard at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The Ashes legend was bowling along nicely at St Andrews, adding seven net birdies to professional partner Ryan Fox’s four under 68.
At eleven under, Warne is in a three-way tie for the lead, and the nine-handicapper was delighted at shooting an impressive 73 in windy conditions.
He said: “That was great fun. I had a ball out there.
“Getting to play with the pros is incredible – there’s no other sport where you can compete on the same stage, with the guys helping you every inch of the way.
“We gelled really well. Ryan is a New Zealander and as an Aussie there was a bit of a competitive element as well as plenty of teamwork. We had a good few laughs along the way.
“This is the best week of the year as far as I’m concerned, and I just hope we can continue playing this well when we move on to Carnoustie today.”
Paul Dunne maintained his impressive recent form by making a strong start in Scotland.
The Irishman, winner of last week’s British Masters, opened with a five-under-par 67 at St Andrews to end the opening day of the three-course event in a share of lead with Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts.
Colsearts’ 67, which represented a strong recovery after a triple-bogey seven at the third, came at Kingsbarns.
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Five players were in a tie for third at four under, including defending champion Tyrell Hatton, his fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher and Ireland’s Shane Lowry.
They also began their tournament at St Andrews.
Ten players were on three under, including England’s Ben Evans and Scot David Drysdale, who recorded the best scores at the third course being used, Carnoustie, along with Joakim Lagergren.
World number six Rory McIlroy – who was playing alongside his father Gerry in the concurrent pro-am competition – ended the day one over after shooting 73 at St Andrews.
McIlroy was three over at one point but finished with birdies at the 14th and 18th. It might have been better had eagle putts at the ninth and 18th rolled in.
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