Jacquelin takes over at the top

Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin holds a one-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Jacquelin posted a two-under-par 70 at Kingsbarns in Friday’s second round to add to his first-round 65, moving him to nine under par overall.

He holds a one-shot lead over four others – Irishman Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington, overnight leader Oliver Wilson and another Frenchman, Alexander Levy.

“I’m pretty happy, especially the way I finished. I birdied 17 and 18, so it was good before having dinner and going to rest,” Jacquelin told the European Tour website.

“I didn’t play that well, and not as well as yesterday, but it was not that easy, a bit of wind, a bit of rain, a bit of cold as well.

“I feel good – it’s a long weekend, a lot of golf to play, so the game of golf it’s not that easy.”

The Alfred Dunhill is played over three courses – Kingsbarns, St Andrews and Carnoustie – with players negotiating each course once over the first three days before everyone returns to the old course at St Andrews for the final round.

Kingsbarns appeared to be the most conducive to scoring on Friday, with all but one of the top 10 on the leaderboard having played there on the day.

Further down the leaderboard, Ryder Cup hero Rory McIlroy was much improved following his opening round 73, carding a 67 at Kingsbarns to move up to four under par.

Five shots of Jacquelin’s lead, he could still well be a factor at the weekend.

Fellow European hero Martin Kaymer was less successful, however, with rounds of 74 and 72 leaving him on two over par – well off the pace.

Victorious captain Paul McGinley, making his playing return, posted rounds of 72 and 70 to lie on two under par.

The best performer from last week’s Ryder Cup heroes was Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, who added a 70 at Kingsbarns to his first-round 68 to lie on six under par, just three off the lead.