ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Justin Walters shot a 9-under 63 for his lowest score on the European Tour in six years, giving him a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday.
Walters, ranked No. 444, has not recorded a top-20 finish in 23 events on the tour this season but found some form on the Old Course at St. Andrews, one of three Scottish venues for the pro-am event.
Every player in the field plays 18 holes at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, before returning to the Old Course for the fourth and final round Sunday.
Three players - Victor Perez, Jordan Smith, and Ryan Fox - shot 64 at St. Andrews, with Adrian Otaegui shooting the same score at Kingsbarns.
The best score at Carnoustie, traditionally the toughest of the three courses, was a 65 by Matthew Southgate, who was in a six-way tie for sixth place overall.
Justin Rose, who was playing alongside singer Justin Timberlake, was in a large group on 4 under after a 68 at Kingsbarns. Second-ranked Rory McIlroy also played there and shot 70.