Tommy Fleetwood shot a Carnoustie course-record 63 to claim a share of the halfway lead with defending champion Tyrrell Hatton at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Fleetwood, leader in the Race to Dubai standings, shot a blemish-free nine-under-par round at the venue for next year’s Open to join Hatton on 11 under.
Hatton, who was also playing his second round in the three-course event at Carnoustie, did not drop a shot either in a seven-under-par 65.
The pair led by one shot from Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, who shot 67 at St Andrews after recovering from a double bogey on his first hole.
First-round co-leader Paul Dunne was in a tie for fourth at nine under with Germany’s Marcel Siem after carding 68 at Carnoustie.
World number six Rory McIlroy, hoping to end a frustrating year with a win, was overshadowed by Fleetwood, who was one of his playing partners.
McIlroy ended the day 11 shots off the lead on level par after a 71 which included a double bogey seven on the sixth hole. With the cut coming after 54 holes, the Northern Irishman is not yet out of the tournament but he must make up a lot of ground as he plays Kingsbarns on Saturday.
After 36 holes:
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 6, 2017
Fleetwood’s impressive round included a run of five successive birdies on the back nine. He almost extended that sequence to six when a birdie putt from off the green on the 16th narrowly missed the hole. He might even have had an eagle on 15th too when his second shot at the par four bounced onto the green and hit the flag.
He finished his round in style by picking up his ninth birdie at the 18th.
Fleetwood, who became a father for the first time last week, was asked after his round how it felt to break the course record.
The 26-year-old told Sky Sports: “It sounds good doesn’t it? You don’t really think too much about it when you are playing but then I holed that one on the last and they said it was a course record. So, all in all, it was a good day’s work!”
Dunne slipped back after a bogey on his second hole but responded with six birdies before dropping another shot at the 17th.
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