Tag Archives: lawrie

Volvo Golf Champions unusual hole-in-one prizes: a digger and a truck!

Do you dig the prize for a hole-in-one at the Volvo Champions (Yes, it's an excavator!)

By
Chris Cutmore

PUBLISHED:

17:16 GMT, 10 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:16 GMT, 10 January 2013

The European Tour raises its curtain for 2013 at the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban today, and there are some rather unusual prizes up for grabs.

A car is on offer for any player managing to score a hole-in-one on the 156-yard par-three 12th hole at Durban Country Club. So far, so ordinary.

But, come the 15th things get a little more interesting. Anyone who shoots an ace on that 170-yard par-three will land themselves not a car, but an excavator worth 32,000.

And finally, anyone who somehow negotiates the 273-yard par-four 18th in just one shot will save themselves the 93,000 they were sure to spend anyway on a shiny new truck.

Up for grabs: Padraig Harrington tees off on the 12th hole in front of the more traditional prize of a car

Up for grabs: Padraig Harrington tees off on the 12th hole in front of the more traditional prize of a car

Keep on trucking: Colin Montgomerie plays an approach with the big prize in the background

Keep on trucking: Colin Montgomerie plays an approach with the big prize in the background

Under construction: Ernie Els and Nicolas Colsaerts walk past the excavator at Durban Country Club

Under construction: Ernie Els and Nicolas Colsaerts walk past the excavator at Durban Country Club

The event is a tournament of champions, with the field made up of those who have won on Tour during the previous year or who have accumulated 10 or more titles in their career.

Those teeing it up in South Africa this week include Ernie Els, Paul Lawrie, Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke.

Volvo Golf Champions Leaderboard

Click here to see all the latest scores

And the good news is that, with no halfway cut due to a limited field, each player will get 12 attempts at winning the big prizes.

One man who's got his eyes on that digger is home favourite Louis Oosthuizen.

The 2010 Open champion said: 'I saw one of these on display at the start of this year during the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt.

'At the time I thought how useful one would be on my farm, so to have the chance of winning one for myself is a fantastic incentive.'

Sportsmail wonders if Monty has his eyes on that digger…

Colin Montgomerie worries European stars" defection to PGA Tour could weaken Ryder Cup defence

Monty worries European stars' defection to PGA Tour could weaken Ryder Cup defence

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UPDATED:

19:39 GMT, 18 December 2012

Colin Montgomerie says that steps need to be taken to encourage Europe's stars to play more in Europe.

Ten of September's successful Ryder Cup side – all bar Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari – will be members of the PGA Tour in America next season.

Montgomerie, whose induction next year into the World Golf Hall of Fame was announced today, is a member of the European Tour's tournament committee and said: 'It's very difficult and we have to sit down and try to address this.

Miracle at Medinah: Europe's victorious Ryder Cup stars celebrate in Chicago

Miracle at Medinah: Europe's victorious Ryder Cup stars celebrate in Chicago

'Sponsorship is getting harder and the first thing a sponsor asks is “who's playing”. He wants as many Ryder Cup players as possible.

'It's important for the future of European golf.'

Tom Watson spoke last week after being named as United States captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup about the edge Europe gains by staging the match on courses well-known to their players.

The 2014 match is at Gleneagles in Scotland, but although a European Tour event has been held there every year since 1999 it does not always attract the top names.

Honour: European Ryder Cup hero Colin Montgomerie (right) was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Tuesday

Honour: Colin Montgomerie (right) is now a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame

This August, for example, the only members of Jose Maria Olazabal's side who played there – even though it was the final qualifying event – were Lawrie, Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Montgomerie led the side at Celtic Manor two years ago and admitted today he was disappointed that more of his side did not play the Wales Open on the course four months earlier. Only seven of the 12 were there.

'We need to get our team to Gleneagles. We have to have that advantage,' the Scot said. 'In 1997 our biggest advantage was Valderrama. The Americans had three days to prepare, we had 10 years.'

Charlton 2 Brighton 2: LuaLua pulls Brighton level at the Valley

Charlton 2 Brighton 2: LuaLua pulls Brighton level at the Valley

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 8 December 2012

Chris Powell’s side moved down into 12th place in the Championship as Brighton held them to a draw in the Valley.

The Seagulls dominated possession but failed to convert chances into goals, allowing Charlton to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

Both sets of fans joined in a minute's applause at 3.07pm to commemorate the moment Colin Walsh hit the net 20 years ago this week, Charlton's first goal since they returned to their Valley ground after a seven-year absence.

Charlton went 1-0 up within ten minutes, with Lawrie Wilson driving the ball past Tomasz Kuszczak into the bottom right corner.

Lawrie Wilson celebrates after a goal against Brighton

Lawrie Wilson took Charlton ahead in the first, but earned himself a yellow card in the second

Match facts

Charlton: Hamer, Morrison, Solly, Dervite, Jackson (Kerkar 80), Stephens, Pritchard, Wilson, Frimpong, Haynes (Kermorgant 73), Hulse.

Subs not used: Button, Taylor, Cort, Green, Wright-Phillips

Goals: Wilson 9, Pritchard 70

Booked: Wilson

Brighton: Kuszczak, Bruno (Calderon 76), Greer, El-Abd, Bridge, Hammond, Bridcutt, Buckley, Hoskins (LuaLua 67), Dobbie (Barnes 62), Mackail-Smith

Subs not used: Brezovan, Crofts, Harley, David Lopez

Goals: Brown 27, Ledley 65, Samaras 74

Booked: Hammond

Referee: Darren Sheldrake

The latest Championship table, results and fixtures

Craig Mackail-Smith hit back for
Brighton in the 28th minute, firing it into the net from inside the box
after Michael Morrison fluffed a clearance.

Dean Hammond slipped in Buckley to cut the ball back for the former Swansea striker, who slid in to meet the ball but lifted it over the top.

Will Hoskins then teed up Buckley for another crack at goal but his shot was also too high, before Mackail-Smith had an effort deflected wide.

Bradley Pritchard took Charlton ahead
again against the run of play.

Johnnie
Jackson's low cross ricocheted through the Brighton defence and Pritchard was
on hand to sweep the ball into the net for his first league goal.

But once again Brighton equalised, with
Kazenga LuaLua drilling it down the centre of the goal in his first appearance for the club since October.

The goal came only eight minutes after the Brighton man had made his way off the bench.

It was a frustrating effort from Brighton, as chance after chance in front of goal was wasted, leaving Stephen Dobbie kicking the post in anger just before the hour mark.

There were bookings on both sides in
the second half, with Dean Hammond receiving a yellow card for
unsporting behaviour and Lawrie Wilson also booked for an unfair
challenge.

Martin Kaymer enter Nedbank Golf Challenge final round with one-stroke lead

Kaymer holds nerve at Sun City to take one-stroke lead into final round

PUBLISHED:

17:56 GMT, 1 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 1 December 2012

Martin Kaymer will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City after holding his nerve in testing conditions at the Gary Player Country Club.

A windy, overcast day made for a low-scoring third round, but Kaymer tallied three birdies and just one bogey to post a two-under 70 and move to five under overall.

Steady start: Martin Kaymer putts on he first green during the third round

Steady start: Martin Kaymer putts on he first green during the third round

Kaymer, who began the day a shot behind overnight leader Paul Lawrie, was required to hold his nerve at the last to maintain the outright lead, the German sinking a tickly putt from around 10 feet to make par.

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen went round in 69 to sit one off the lead, while compatriot Charl Schwartzel is in the mix in third place, two shots off Kaymer after a 70.

Tough day: Paul Lawrie hits out of a bunker on the sceond hole

Tough day: Paul Lawrie hits out of a bunker on the sceond hole

Lawrie suffered a trying day as the Scot carded a three-over 75 to drop back to sixth place, while England's defending two-time champion Lee Westwood (70) is in a share of fourth place on two under alongside America's Bill Haas.

Kaymer knows he is there to be shot at tomorrow with such a slender lead and some real quality in the chasing pack, and insists the only option is to go on the attack.

'I think a mistake would be if I try to defend my lead,' he said on europeantour.com.

One behind: Louis Oosthuizen acknowledges the crowd

One behind: Louis Oosthuizen acknowledges the crowd

'You cannot approach the last round like that.

'You hit fairways and greens and that is the most important, then think you will have a few more chances to make birdie.

'You cannot play too aggressive at certain holes, but you must take your chances. That is my goal.'

Oosthuizen is bidding to become the first South African winner of this event since 2007 and set five birdies against two bogeys to give his chances of claiming the title a huge lift.

And he admits the final round will be all about staying in touch until the final holes with conditions forecast to remain difficult.

'I would not be surprised if it is seven under winning it tomorrow,' he said. 'I think tomorrow you just need to stay very patient and give yourself a shot with four to five holes to go.

'It will be a great finish to a good season. I have played really well the whole season, one or two came really close to a few as well and I think winning it here would mean everything.'

Miguel Angel Jimenez becomes oldest winner on European Tour

Jimenez becomes oldest winner on European Tour after one-stroke victory at UBS Hong Kong Open

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UPDATED:

11:36 GMT, 18 November 2012

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez today became the oldest winner in European Tour history.

Only seven weeks away from his 49th birthday, Jimenez took the UBS Hong Kong Open for a third time with a one-stroke victory over Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed.

The former Ryder Cup player's 19th Tour title – and 12th since he turned 40 – came without a single bogey in his last 54 holes.

Sealed with a kiss: Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest winner of a European Tour event

Sealed with a kiss: Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest winner of a European Tour event

He finished with a 65 for 15 under par, Andersson Hed's 64 having an agonising climax when a 12-foot birdie attempt on the last dribbled down the slope and lipped out.

Australian Marcus Fraser was third and joint fourth came Ireland's Peter Lawrie, Scot Stephen Gallacher and 19-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero, last week's Singapore Open champion.

New Zealander Michael Campbell, joint overnight leader with Jimenez, fell away to joint eighth.

This win marked a hat-trick of Hong Kong victories for the Spaniard, who also won the tournament in 2004 and 2007.

Andersson Hed finished before Jimenez, leaving him needing to par the 18th to secure the win.

Lining it up: Jimenez was consistent on all four days at the UBS Hong Kong Open

Lining it up: Jimenez was consistent on all four days at the UBS Hong Kong Open

Lining it up: Jimenez was consistent on all four days at the UBS Hong Kong Open

Jimenez said: ‘I saw Andersson had a 14-under-par and I knew I just had to concentrate, keep my pace, keep my rhythm and keep hitting the ball the way I was hitting it.’

At the age of 48 years and 318 days, Jimenez was glad to take the record from Des Smyth, who won the 2001 Madeira Islands Open aged 48 and 34 days.

‘It's an honour to make a record,’ he added. ‘And I hope it isn't the last one.’

Jimenez was consistent throughout the tournament, hitting 65, 67, 68 and 65 at the par-70 course.

Smoke screen: Jimenez can't be seen behind as he holds the trophy after sealing victory

Smoke screen: Jimenez can't be seen behind as he holds the trophy after sealing victory

Altrincham 0 Burton 2 – match report

Altrincham 0 Burton 2: Robins fail to produce upset… but 70k Cup cash eases pain

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UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 15 November 2012

Non-League Altrincham departed the FA Cup 70,000 richer but still bemoaning their luck after giving League Two high-flyers Burton Albion another first-round scare at Moss Lane.

Thwarted by a Calvin Zola equaliser in the final minute of added time at the Pirelli Stadium, Blue Square Bet Conference North side Altrincham again took the game to Burton with a slick passing style that belied their relatively modest league status.

Prolific marksman Damian Reeves almost added to his 20-goal tally in only the eighth minute of a lively replay, miscuing a Scott Leather cutback and seeing his close-range effort spin over the bar.

Gone for a Burton: Albion were comfortable winners in the end

Gone for a Burton: Albion were comfortable winners in the end

Jake Moult cleared the bar after being set up by livewire teenager Duncan Watmore in the 20th minute, and, after having much the better of an enthralling first half, there was no sign of any let-up in the Conference side’s quest for an upset.

They created the clearest opportunity so far in the 57th minute and would have gone ahead but for a sprawling save by Mark Oxley from James Lawrie’s low drive.

But as the part-time team began to tire, Burton took full advantage and went ahead with a 64th-minute free-kick from Chris Palmer that caught keeper Stuart Coburn by surprise as it crept inside the near post.

Down and out: But the Robins can console themselves with Cup cash

Down and out: But the Robins can console themselves with Cup cash

Burton finally saw off Altrincham’s brave challenge, and booked a second-round trip to Crewe, with a second goal in the 76th minute, as a slip by Luca Havern allowed Zola to slot home a low cross from Cleveland Taylor.

It was hard on Altrincham, though a 31,900 cheque from ESPN that boosted their Cup takings to around 70,000 provided some consolation.

Ronnie O"Sullivan speaks out about snooker quit threat

Take me out of snooker and I couldn't do life: O'Sullivan speaks out about quit threat

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UPDATED:

12:33 GMT, 7 November 2012

Ronnie O’Sullivan has hinted his sabbatical from snooker could mean 'the chapter’s over'.

O’Sullivan announced on Tuesday that he will not compete again this season, a move attributed by his manager Django Fung to 'Ronnie's own personal problems, his health, travelling, children, family and so on' and one which casts doubt on whether he will be seen on the tour again.

On a break: Ronnie O'Sullivan is on the verge of quitting snooker after pulling out of the rest of the season

On a break: Ronnie O'Sullivan is on the verge of quitting snooker after pulling out of the rest of the season

On a break: Ronnie O'Sullivan (left) is on the verge of quitting snooker after pulling out of the rest of the season
SPEAKING OUT ABOUT DEPRESSION

Rugby star Toby Flood: 'It made me ask myself if it was something I really wanted to do. I was very disillusioned. I wasn't enjoying my rugby, my form dipped and, looking back, it was pretty scary.'

Boxer Ricky Hatton: 'I was near to a nervous breakdown, depression, suicidal. Most mornings my girlfriend would have to come downstairs and take a knife out of my hand. I had a knife at my wrists, I was in a really bad way, just hysterically crying for no reason.

Everton striker Victor Anichebe: 'There were plenty of times when I was at a low ebb. To come back after 12 months, get injured again, and then again, I began to ask whether it was worth it. It's hard for people to know what really understand what it is like being injured. It is not just physical, it is mental too.'

Golfer Paul Lawrie: 'I had no energy and didn't want to play or practise. I couldn't get out of bed. I didn't want to be with the kids. I didn't even want to see them. I went through tablets without feeling any more positive. I'd just lie on the couch and watch television.'

Cricketter Tim Ambrose: 'I was awake 24 hours a day, with things going around in my head' he said. 'I was beyond miserable. It felt like I had this duvet that was soaking wet wrapped around me, and I couldn't get it off.'

And speaking on Ronnie O'Sullivan:
Sports Life Stories, a pre-recorded documentary broadcast on ITV4, the
four-time world champion gave an insight into the emotional difficulties
he has suffered during his career.

'The most important thing, the
biggest love of my life, is my snooker,' he said. 'I've never been so
emotionally ingrained in something – in a person, an object, anything –
as I have in snooker.

'I don’t think I suffered with
depression, I don’t think I’m a depressed type of person – I just think I
suffered a depression to do with snooker, and I just couldn’t handle
it.

'I could go out and play, but take me
out of there and I couldn’t do life.

'It was a nightmare, my life just
felt like a bit of a nightmare.'

The problems came to a head in 2001, ahead of his first World Championship win.

'A week before that World
Championship, I was down the doctor's,' he said. 'Then I was in my room
in Sheffield and they said “can you do a radio interview” I felt so
brittle – I said yes, but I thought “how am I going to get through this,
and not let them know that I'm suffering”

'I was blabbering on, spurting words
out, and it was live but I just said, “do you know what, I ain’t feeling
too good. I’m suffering here, talking to you – I’m struggling”.

'I just thought, ‘I can’t hide any more’. I felt like I was going insane.'

No return O'Sullivan has taken several breaks from snooker throughout his career

No return O'Sullivan has taken several breaks from snooker throughout his career

Troubled: O'Sullivan

Troubled: O'Sullivan

The 36-year-old’s career has been peppered with regular threats to retire in recent years, but
O’Sullivan admitted he was driven to continue by the pride of his
father, who remained a key influence on his son’s career even while
spending 17 years in prison for murder.

'I talked about letting go of it but I
just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t walk away because I hadn’t achieved
what I wanted to,' O’Sullivan said. 'I knew if I stopped the snooker, a
lot of my demons would be gone, but I couldn’t walk away.

'My dad said “every time I see you on
the telly, it’s like a visit”. And he had 10 years left, so I had to
play for at least another 10 years. I wanted to walk away, but there was
that pressure there of trying to do the right thing for somebody else.'

Reflecting on a career which has
brought him four UK and four World Championships among 24 ranking
titles, he said: 'I’ve got through it – that’s all I’ve done really.

'All right, I've been successful –
I’ve ticked the boxes, I’ve won the world titles, won this, won that,
become a multiple world champion.'

The most recent of those came in May
of this year and, recalling the win and the emotional celebrations with
his son Ronnie Jr, he said: 'For me that’s like the final chapter. I’ve
done what I’ve had to do. I don’t have to prove myself any more.

'The more they doubt me, the more
it’ll make me want to come back and prove them wrong again, and I don’t
want to have to go through it again. I’ve done it. The chapter’s over.'

Dumbarton managerial application swamped by gamers

Are you for real! Managerless Dumbarton swamped with applications from gamers

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UPDATED:

15:05 GMT, 26 October 2012

Scottish club Dumbarton have seen their attempts to recruit a new boss held up after they were inundated with applicants whose only managerial experience is from playing computer games.

The club sacked Alan Adamson on Monday after sinking to the bottom of the First Division and chief executive Gilbert Lawrie immediately advertised the position, asking candidates to submit CVs by email.

But Gilbert revealed that when he checked his inbox it was full of optimistic applications boasting of glory on games such as Football Manager and FIFA.

Are you for real! Managerless Dumbarton swamped with applications from gamers

Field of dreams: Dumbarton's Bet Butler Stadium

Field of dreams: Dumbarton's Bet Butler Stadium

Lawrie said: 'I’ve had dozens and dozens of applications and it takes a while to shift through the CVs of people who have won the Champions League and FIFA 12.

'Probably 75 per cent of the applications so far are from people who have taken a team from a low ebb to great heights via a computer screen, which is a great achievement for them but perhaps not we are looking for at this time.

'Thankfully we have had a good number of applications from people with genuine experience in the game as well and we will take our time going through them.'

Branden Grace extends lead at Dunhill Links Championship

In-form Grace misses out on record but extends lead at Dunhill Links

PUBLISHED:

17:58 GMT, 5 October 2012

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UPDATED:

17:58 GMT, 5 October 2012

Branden Grace holds the biggest
halfway lead of the European Tour season after a second-round 67 in the
Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

Having begun the 3million
pro-celebrity event with an incredible Tour record-equalling 60 at
Kingsbarns, the 24-year-old South African marched five strokes clear by
reaching 17 under par at halfway.

Centre of attention: Branden Grace of South Africa

Centre of attention: Branden Grace of South Africa

When he putted for eagle on the 357-yard last Grace had a chance to match the circuit's lowest-ever 36-hole total in relation to par, but he happily settled for a two-putt birdie and so the mark set by compatriot Ernie Els at the 2004 Heineken Classic in Australia still stands.

'I just don't really knows what's going on,' said the Pretoria golfer, who was outside the world's top 300 less than a year ago, came through the Tour qualifying school and now has a chance of an incredible fifth victory of the season.

The fourth came last Sunday in his home country's winter series and was slightly overshadowed, of course, by Europe's miraculous Ryder Cup comeback.

'A win is a win,' he added. 'It gives you confidence and puts a fire in you. I'm still just running with it.'

Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and Swede Joel Sjoholm are in joint second place and you have to look a long way way down the leaderboard to find many of the big names.

Holding on: Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer

Holding on: Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer

German Martin Kaymer, the man who sank the all-important putt for Jose Maria Olazabal's side in Chicago, is doing best of the three returning heroes, but he is down in 56th place on three under – 14 strokes adrift.

Swede Peter Hanson is one further back, but Paul Lawrie is joint 129th on one over – and only the top 60 and ties survive the cut after tomorrow's third round.

The one thing in their favour is that they still have St Andrews to play whereas Grace has Carnoustie to come and that is by far the stiffest test of the three.

Also in a fight to stay around for Sunday's closing 18 holes at St Andrews are Open champion Ernie Els on one under, twice winner Padraig Harrington on level par and last year's Open winner Darren Clarke, who is alongside Lawrie.

The Scot is playing with his 17-year-old son Craig and did not mind admitting that the scratch-handicapper outscored him in the second round, albeit off forward tees.

'He played lovely and was four under on his own ball – I'm very proud of him,' said the 1999 Open champion, who had to be content with a two under 70 himself.

Here boy: Paul Casey tries to get the dog to drop his ball on the green

Here boy: Paul Casey tries to get the dog to drop his ball on the green

Paul Casey is another on three under, but the former world number three will remember the day for two unusual incidents – a dog running off with his ball and swimming star Michael Phelps holing a 50-yard putt.

Casey was on the green in two at Kingsbarns' long 12th – his third – when the dog took the ball 'off up the hill toward the 13th tee'.

He added: 'I had that moment of panic where I thought I'd have to play it where Digby – he had his name on his collar – left it, but we placed it back as close as we could to where we thought it originally was.'

Grace had no such dramas, but was glad the format allowed him to switch courses following his 60.

'It would have been a hard situation if I had to play Kingsbarns again after shooting lights out. Getting to St Andrews I didn't know what to expect.

'I struggling a bit in the beginning, but then my putter started getting hot again.'

He had four successive birdies around the turn.

Sjoholm matched the round, while over at Carnoustie Olesen had six birdies and three bogeys for a 69.

Leading British player is Graeme Storm, round in 66 at the Home of Golf to reach 10 under and joint fifth place.

German Martin Kaymer, the man who sank the all-important putt for Jose Maria Olazabal's side in Chicago, is doing best of the three returning heroes, but he is down in 56th place on three under – 14 strokes adrift.

Swede Peter Hanson is one further back, but Paul Lawrie is joint 129th on one over – and only the top 60 and ties survive the cut after tomorrow's third round.

The one thing in their favour is that they still have St Andrews to play whereas Grace has Carnoustie to come and that is by far the stiffest test of the three.

Also in a fight to stay around for Sunday's closing 18 holes at St Andrews are Open champion Ernie Els on one under, twice winner Padraig Harrington on level par and last year's Open winner Darren Clarke, who is alongside Lawrie.

The Scot is playing with his 17-year-old son Craig and did not mind admitting that the scratch-handicapper outscored him in the second round, albeit off forward tees.

'He played lovely and was four under on his own ball – I'm very proud of him,' said the 1999 Open champion, who had to be content with a two under 70 himself.

Paul Casey is another on three under, but the former world number three will remember the day for two unusual incidents – a dog running off with his ball and swimming star Michael Phelps holing a 50-yard putt.

Casey was on the green in two at Kingsbarns' long 12th – his third – when the dog took the ball 'off up the hill toward the 13th tee'.

He added: 'I had that moment of panic where I thought I'd have to play it where Digby – he had his name on his collar – left it, but we placed it back as close as we could to where we thought it originally was.'

Grace had no such dramas, but was glad the format allowed him to switch courses following his 60.

'It would have been a hard situation if I had to play Kingsbarns again after shooting lights out. Getting to St Andrews I didn't know what to expect.

'I struggling a bit in the beginning, but then my putter started getting hot again.'

He had four successive birdies around the turn.

Sjoholm matched the round, while over at Carnoustie Olesen had six birdies and three bogeys for a 69.

Leading British player is Graeme Storm, round in 66 at the Home of Golf to reach 10 under and joint fifth place.

Andrew Strauss misses simple putt at St Andrews

Fore! Strauss was always better at hitting fours as he misses simple putt at St Andrews

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UPDATED:

18:54 GMT, 4 October 2012

Just found out that KP is back in the England set-up, Straussy No, this was the moment that recently-retired England captain Andrew Strauss missed the simplest of putts while playing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship pro-am at St Andrews.

While Kevin Pietersen begins the process of re-integration into the England set-up, his former skipper as enjoying his round on the Old Course. But this miss had Strauss hanging his head in shame.

I can't watch! Strauss hides his his head in shame after missing this putt

I can't watch! Strauss hides his his head in shame after missing this putt

Elsewhere, South African Branden Grace equalled the European Tour record with a round of 60 at Kingsbarns in the first round.

Already with three European Tour titles to his name this season, the 24-year-old knocked two strokes off Lee Westwood's course record thanks to an eagle and 10 birdies – five of them in a row to finish with.

Fourteen players have now shot 60 on the circuit – Darren Clarke has done it twice – and like so many of the others Grace came off saying: 'It could have been a 59'.

All smiles: Strauss was enjoying his round at the Alfred Dunhill pro-am

All smiles: Strauss was enjoying his round at the Alfred Dunhill pro-am

All smiles: Strauss was enjoying his round at the Alfred Dunhill pro-am

The Pretoria golfer leads Victor Dubuisson by two, the Frenchman's 62 at St Andrews today also being a course record, while many of the big guns were left trailing in his wake after they battled with the far tougher Carnoustie.

The three Ryder Cup heroes in the field – Paul Lawrie, Martin Kaymer and Peter Hanson – returned 75, 70 and 72 respectively, with Lawrie commenting on his return to the course where he won the 1999 Open: 'I was a little bit tired obviously, but the first 12 holes were my worst ball-striking of the year.'

Kiss and make up: KP is back in the fold after being kicked out of the England team

Kiss and make up: KP is back in the fold after being kicked out of the England team