Alfred Dunhill Links Championship 2013
Closing eagle gives Uihlein two shot lead; Els and Kaymer lurk
September 29, 2013
Peter Uihlein has set his sights on winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after the American's eagle gave him a two-shot lead after Saturday's third round.
Uihlein narrowly missed an eagle putt on the ninth at Kingsbarns on Friday and had to settle for recording the 17th round of 60 in European Tour history instead of a record-breaking 59, but he finished his round on the Old Course on Saturday in stunning style.
The 24-year-old's pitch from 47 yards looped straight into the hole for an eagle two to complete a 65 and 20-under-par total in the pro-am event played at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews.
Uihlein was only one under after an opening 71 at Carnoustie but has played his last 36 holes in 19 under, eclipsing the previous record of 18 under set by Thomas Aiken in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek in 2009.
However, with scoring conditions again perfect, that was only good enough to lead by two from Ernie Els, David Howell, Joost Luiten, Martin Kaymer, Richard McEvoy and Ireland's Shane Lowry, who equalled the course record with a 64 at Carnoustie after a bogey on his final hole.
England's Paul Casey also equalled the course record at St Andrews with a 62, although he was seven off the lead on 13 under.
"It was not quite what I was trying to do but it worked out," Uihlein said. "I carried it a bit too far but got a bit lucky and it's pretty sweet, a cool finish and a great way to sign off.
"I felt I missed quite a few putts coming down the stretch so it makes up for it a little."
Els has twice been part of winning Dunhill Cup teams for South Africa at St Andrews, but would love to win an individual title on Sunday, especially after making the cut in the pro-am event with his father Neels.
"I've been in a bit of a rut playing in the FedEx Cup in the States, playing week to week and kind of going brain dead. You don't know exactly what you're playing for," he said.
"To come here and play with my dad, who turned 70 this year, at these beautiful links courses makes a change and that's what I needed.
"It would mean a great deal to win this event especially with our close connection with (tournament promoter) Johann Rupert and his family. I've come close quite a few times and I feel I need to get my name on that trophy."