Rookie Mullen marches on
Jimmy Mullen's dream debut continued in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.
The 21-year-old Englishman, who turned professional after helping Great Britain and Ireland win the Walker Cup last month, followed up a first-round 64 at Kingsbarns with a three-under-par 69 at St Andrews on Friday to move to 11 under par.
At the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, players take their turns playing each of the three courses – Kingsbarns, St Andrews and Carnoustie – over the first three rounds, before they all congregate at the Old Course for the final round.
Mullen is tied at the top alongside countryman Anthony Wall, who posted a second-round 68 on the day, also at St Andrews.
The duo are one shot ahead of Welshman Jamie Donaldson, American Chris Stroud, Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and Mullen's fellow debutant Paul Dunne of Ireland.
Donaldson made one of the biggest moves of the day with a seven-under-par 65 at Kingsbarns, while Dunne stayed in touch with a two-under-par 70 at the Old Course.
Stroud and Olesen both shot 66s at Kingsbarns.
Co-leader Mullen started with a bogey at the fourth, but hit back with birdies at five, seven, nine and 12.
He dropped another shot at the 13th, but bounced straight back with a birdie at the par-five 14th to sign for another solid round.
"I was just out there trying to enjoy it and learn and to be at the top of the leaderboard is, I can't really explain," he said. "It's a different experience but I'll just have to learn that as I go along."
"The hardest bit for me is you watch all the players growing up from when I was a junior and just realising that you're playing against them now and seeing them on the range.
"I'm still a bit like: 'Oh look, there's Kaymer' and all the people like that so I'm just trying to let them do what they do and just concentrate on what I do. I think I've managed to stick to that quite well over the last two rounds.
"I got a bit twitchy lagging a few putts up on the back nine but I'm happy with my day's work."
Donaldson, who is coming off a top-five finish at last week's Porsche European Open, made eight birdies in a flawless round.
“I played pretty nicely,” he said.
“There’s a lot of chances out there especially when the wind dropped a bit. Earlier on when it was quite cool the ball wasn’t going very far and then it warmed up which enabled me to hit it closer to the pins.”
Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer shot a 68 to move to eight under par, three shots back, while Graeme McDowell (69) and Branden Grace (64) were among those on seven under.
Steve Stricker makes Padraig Harrington sweat as Irishman wins US Senior Open
The pair were rival captains in last year’s Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.
Golfers warned of further sanctions if they continue to play in LIV breakaway
The DP World Tour has issued fines of £100,000 and tournament bans to its members who played in the inaugural LIV Golf event earlier this month
DP World Tour hits members who played inaugural LIV series with £100,000 fines
They have also been banned from several forthcoming tournaments including the Scottish Open.
Rory McIlroy not impressed as Brooks Koepka becomes latest big name to join LIV
The world number two labelled the players who have joined the new series as “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.