Sweden’s Alex Noren fired an 8-under 64 to tie the course record at Carnoustie, taking a 1-stroke lead at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the process on Thursday.
Noren recorded eight birdies and no bogeys to take a 1-stroke lead over the UK’s Ross Fisher.
Noren started on the back nine at Carnoustie and had birdies on three of his first five holes. He was 5-under on the front nine. Noren said he had never shot lower than a 71 previously at the course.
“I like it but I’ve never shot lower than maybe 71 here. I didn’t expect much but it went better than I expected,” Noren said. “It was tough conditions but probably one of the best rounds I’ve played, so I’m very happy right now.”
Matt Ford and Noren’s fellow Swede Joakim Lagergren are tied for third with dueling 66s.
The tournament saw ups and downs for the European Ryder Cup team members in the field. England’s Lee Westwood got off to an ugly start with a 3-over 72. He was 1-under through six holes, then gave away four strokes between No. 7 and No. 10, including a double-bogey 6.
Fellow Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick was worse, with a 5-over 77 that included a horrid quadruple-bogey 8 on the par-4 No. 6.