Alfred Dunhill Links Championship 2013 Leaderboard: Day 1 Recap from St. Andrews

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Alfred Dunhill Links Championship 2013 Leaderboard: Day 1 Recap from St. Andrews
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Some of the European Tour's finest are on display at the Old Course at St. Andrews this week, and the first round of the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was indicative of that fact. 

Twenty golfers are within three shots of each other after Thursday's opening round, a group paced by five golfers who finished with an eight-under 64 on the afternoon. SuperSport noted as much on Twitter:

Mark Tullo, one of those five men, was all smiles as he handed in his impressive scorecard after the round:

Alexandre Kaleka, Oliver Wilson, Tom Lewis and Richard McEvoy are the golfers atop the leaderboard heading into Friday.

Warren Little/Getty Images

Those within striking distance include Jamie Donaldson, David Horsey and former American collegiate standouts Brandon Stone (Texas) and Justin Thomas (Alabama). 

Here's a more complete look at the leaderboard, courtesy of EuropeanTour.com

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Leaderboard
Pos Golfer Score To Par
T1 Mark Tullo 64 -8
T1 Alexandre Kaleka 64 -8
T1 Oliver Wilson 64 -8
T1 Tom Lewis 64 -8
T1 Richard McEvoy 64 -8
T6 George Murray 65 -7
T6 Mark Foster 65 -7
T6 Jamie Donaldson 65 -7
T6 Matthew Baldwin 65 -7
T6 Tommy Fleetwood 65 -7
T11 Eddie Pepperell 66 -6
T11 Brandon Stone 66 -6
T11 Morten Orum Madsen 66 -6
T11 Garth Mulroy 66 -6
T11 David Horsey 66 -6
T11 Simon Dyson 66 -6
T11 Chris Wood 66 -6
T11 Soren Kjeldsen 66 -6
T11 Justin Thomas 66 -6
T11 Alessandro Tadini 66 -6

EuropeanTour.com

As Craig Boath—head greenkeeper at Carnoustie Golf Links—showed us on Twitter, it was a beautiful day for golf in Scotland:

European Tour's Nigel Tilley had another majestic photo for those not fortunate enough to make it to the "home of golf" this week:

On the course, birdies were dropping left and right. 

A staggering 105 players finished under par during the opening round, led by the gaggle at the top of the leaderboard. Notables in that category include Joost Luiten (-5), Charl Schwartzel (-4), Shane Lowry (-4), Darren Clarke (-3), Ernie Els (-3), Martin Kaymer (-3) and Branden Grace (-2). 

David Cannon/Getty Images

Kaymer, who called St. Andrews his favorite golf course in the world prior to Round 1, played like it on Thursday. He dropped six birdies against three bogeys in the round, and is certainly within striking distance of the leaders the way the course is playing right now:

Needless to say, it's still very much anyone's tournament heading into Friday. 

Which current leader will finish the highest on Sunday?

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That statement holds true for the unfortunate few who finished below the Mendoza line on Thursday, including three golfers—Richard Sterne, Brett Rumford and Stephen Gallacher—who are currently in the top 15 in the Race to Dubai. 

Sterne (E) and Rumford (+1) are certainly in position to make the cut by emulating the strong performances put in by the leaders, but Gallacher (+6) is in grave danger of going home early after turning in a scorecard with five bogeys and a double-bogey on Thursday. 

St. Andrews is a special golf course, and it's the perfect place for European Tour professionals to spend four days playing the game they love. With the potential for high-scoring golf and the prestige of the setting in the backdrop, this tournament should only get better by Sunday. 

 

Follow B/R's Ethan Grant on Twitter. 

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