St. Andrews, Scotland – Peter Uihlein eagled his final hole on Saturday to move ahead by a pair of strokes entering the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Coming off the 17th 60 in European Tour history, Uihlein fired a 7-under-par 65 at St. Andrews, one of three courses in play during this pro-am event, to reach 20-under 196 through 54 holes.
Martin Kaymer, the 2010 winner, shot 63 on the Old Course to grab a share of second place at 18-under 198. He stands alongside Ernie Els (64), Joost Luiten (68), Richard McEvoy (67), David Howell (63) and Shane Lowry, whose 64 equaled the course record at Carnoustie, the most difficult course of the three.
"Any score under par at Carnoustie is usually good, so I am delighted with 8- under," Lowry said.
Ricardo Gonzalez carded a 63 at Kingsbarns to move into solo eighth at 17- under, one stroke ahead of Tommy Fleetwood (69), Chris Paisley (66), Chris Doak (63), Garth Mulroy (65), Thomas Levet (68) and Hennie Otto (69).
Carnoustie was not as kind to overnight-leader Tom Lewis, who stumbled to a 73 on the challenging track and dropped into a tie for 19th at 14-under 202.
After rotating courses over the first three days, the top 60 players (including ties) will return to St. Andrews for Sunday's final round.
"St. Andrews is the home of golf and the greatest course in the world. Any time you can win at St. Andrews would be special. It's every golfer's dream to win out here," said Uihlein, who earned his maiden European Tour victory at the Madeira Islands Open in May
On Friday, Uihlein had a chance to record the first 59 in European Tour history, but his long eagle putt at Kingsbarns' par-5 ninth (his last) narrowly missed wide left. A day later, the 24-year-old American delivered on his final hole, dunking a chip from 47 yards for eagle and a 2-stroke lead.
"It was not quite what I was trying to do, but it worked out," he 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."
With Uihlein in the clubhouse, Lowry briefly moved within one stroke of the lead when he birdied Carnoustie's eighth (his 17th), but the Irishman stumbled to a bogey at his last to end two back. It marked the lone bogey of the day for Lowry, who battled the tournament's toughest course to the tune of six birdies and an eagle over his first 15 holes.
Uihlein began the day two shots off Lewis' pace, then birdied six of his first 10 holes to storm into contention. He tripped to bogeys at Nos. 11 and 13, but righted himself with a birdie at the 14th and parred three straight before closing in style.
"I felt I missed quite a few putts coming down the stretch so (the eagle) makes up for it a little," he admitted.
NOTES: The cut fell at 9-under-par 207, breaking the previous tournament low of 5-under, which happened in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2012 ... Defending champion Branden Grace made the cut on the number at 9-under ... Charl Schwartzel, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 19, is tied for 19th at 14-under ... Teams of one professional and one amateur played each of the three courses in rotation over the first three days ... Amateur Hendrik Riehmer recorded a hole-in-one at Kingsbarns' 16th.