Marcu Fraser Primed To Become First Australian Winner Alfred Dunhill Links

St. Andrews, Scotland ….

Marcus Fraser is determined not only to capture a first victory on European soil but also deliver Australia a first victory in the 17-year history of the Alfred Links Championship in Scotland.

Fraser, 40 birdied three of his closing four holes at the Kingsbarns Links course in a round of 67 to move to second place on 13-under par.

England’s Tyrrell Hatton managed two eagles in his round of 66 on the Old Course at St.Andrews to lead the $US 5m event on 14-under par but now carrying the added weight of striving to capture the tournament for a third year in succession.

However the forecast of up to 40mph winds just after lunch on Sunday has forced officials into the extreme measure of adopting a ‘shotgun’ start and teeing-off at 8.30am and with Hatton and Fraser hitting off the first hole of the Old Course.

Australia’s Marcus Fraser determined to become the first Australian-born winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links

“With wind speeds predicted to gust up to 40 mph tomorrow afternoon, Tournament Officials have decided to employ a shotgun start to ensure the best chance of completing the final round on schedule,” said a statement from event organisers.

European Tour officials working in Scotland had no knowledge if any round in recent Tour history has been played under a ‘shotgun start’, and a format that is traditionally used in playing a pro-am.

Fraser has won three European titles in his career (2003 Russian Open, 2010 Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea and the 2016 Maybank Malaysian Championship) but has not yet savoured success in Europe proper.

His third round at Kingbarns Links had seen the Melbourne golfer bogey the second and then birdie the third ahead of paring the next five and with Fraser then playing the last 10 holes in five-under with birdies also at nine, 12 and 15.

“It was a bit slow to get going and then too busy enjoying the good weather out there,” he said.

“Then on the back nine and just to finish the way I did really capped off and turned it into a really good round.

“I holed a monster there on the last, a bit of a bonus. Yeah, it was pretty steady. Felt like I played actually a little bit better
than yesterday and it was nice to get a few putts at the end to justify that.

Fraser has shot a 68 on day two of the event on the Old Course but will probably need to go two to three shots lower if he is to deny the like of Hatton and also last week’s Ryder Cup winning hero, Tommy Fleetwood (67) who shares third place at 11-under par and two behind Fraser with Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher (66).

“I feel like I’m pretty relaxed out there, which is rare for me. I’m enjoying being out there,” Fraser added.

Fellow Aussie Lucas Herbert, who went so close to victory in last fortnight’s Portugal Masters, posted a round of 69 at Carnoustie, and where the fellow Melbourne golfer eagled the 12th hole, to be at seven-under par and sharing 13th place.

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