Justin Rose equalled the lowest front nine of the season on the European Tour to get within two strokes of the halfway lead at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Rose flirted with history after an eagle and six birdies saw him reach the turn in 28 at Kingsbarns, only to see hopes of a ’59 round’ ended with a double-bogey at the 11th on his way to an eight-under 64.
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Matthew Jordan posted a bogey-free 64 on the Old Course at St Andrews to move into a one-shot lead, with Joakim Lagergren firing a round-of-the-day 62 at Kingsbarns to join Matthew Southgate and Callum Hill in a share of second.
“You never know when it’s going to happen like that,” Rose said. “It all felt very easy at that point. I was aware I was going low but was super relaxed.”
Starting the day five shots off the lead, Rose birdied the second and eagled the third before following a hat-trick of gains from the fourth by picking up shots at the eighth and ninth.
Any hopes of a sub-60 round were all but ended by a double-bogey at the 11th, where celebrity playing partner Justin Timberlake holed a long-range putt for par, only for Rose to bounce back by making an eight-foot birdie at the 12th and nudging in from close range at the 14th.
Rose failed to get up and down from off the 15th green to save par but converted from six feet on his penultimate hole to get to 12 under for the tournament, with Ryan Fox, Russell Knox, Victor Perez, Richie Ramsay and Jordan Smith also in the group sharing fifth spot.
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Jordan made a fast start by following an eagle-two at the third with five consecutive birdies, and the Englishman went close with several birdie chances around the turn before adding another from eight feet at the 13th on his way to setting the clubhouse target.