ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Two years after winning a prestigious amateur title at St. Andrews, Matthew Jordan enjoyed more success on the famous Old Course by shooting 8-under 64 to lead the Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.
The 23-year-old English player led by one stroke after two rounds, with his bogey-free score at St. Andrews coming a day after shooting 6-under 66 at Kingsbarns.
Every player in the field plays 18 holes at three Scottish courses — St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns — before returning to the Old Course for the fourth and final round of the pro-am on Sunday.
That is where Jordan won the St. Andrews Links Trophy in 2017 during an impressive amateur career that ended when he turned pro in September last year. Ranked No. 292, Jordan now plays on the second-tier Challenge Tour, where he won the Italian Challenge Open in June.
None of his three closest pursuers are ranked in the top 100 in the world, either.
Matthew Southgate, ranked No. 300, shot 66 at Kingsbarns to join No. 126 Calum Hill (65 at St. Andrews) and No. 265 Joakim Lagergren (62 at Kingsbarns) in a tie for second place on 13 under overall.
Justin Rose was 8 under after nine holes at Kingsbarns, and had nine birdies and an eagle in total in his round of 64, leaving the world No. 4 in a six-way share on fifth place on 12 under.
First-round leader Justin Walters of South Africa shot 1-under 71 at Carnoustie, traditionally the toughest of the three courses, and dropped into a tie for 17th on 10 under.
Rory McIlroy was 5 under after five holes, but only picked up one more birdie in shooting a bogey-free 66 at Kingsbarns. The No. 2-ranked McIlroy was at 8 under, six strokes off the lead.