European Tour

Olesen takes early lead in Gullane

2015-07-09 14:40
Thorbjorn Olesen (File)

Gullane - Low-scoring was the order of the day as the Scottish Open got underway at Gullane on Thursday with the focus being firmly on preparing for next week's Open Championship at St Andrews.

Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen claimed the early clubhouse lead with a seven-under 63 on the composite links course in East Lothian, hosting the tournament for the first time.

In with 65s were American world number 12 Jimmy Walker, Adrian Otaegui of Spain and Matthew Nixon of England

Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler, two other members of a strong US contingent fine-tuning their links play ahead of St Andrews, both signed for 66's, the same as former US Open champion Graeme McDowell.

Scotland's Russell Knox, a last-minute callup for the injured world number one Rory McIlroy had a 67.

McDowell's opening 66 included a superb 30 on the front nine and came as a welcome return to form for the Northern Irishman who has struggled for form all year.

He missed the cut last week at the French Open, a tournament he had won in the two previous years, and he pledged after that to get the clutter out of his mind and get back to the basics.

His round could have been even better but for bogeys on the final two holes.

If low scores were out there to be had, that was not the case for former Open champion David Duval.

The veteran American suffered a nightmare start, taking a quadruple-bogey eight on the 390-yard opening hole.

Defending champion Justin Rose, the top-ranked player in the tournament following the withdrawal of McIlroy, had an early afternoon tee-time playing alongside 2013 winner Phil Mickelson and in-form Scot Marc Warren.

Read more on:    scottish open  |  thorbjorn olesen  |  golf

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