St. Andrews, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood and Michael Hoey are knotted atop the leaderboard after Friday's second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Fleetwood fired an nine-under 63, while Hoey had his second straight six-under 66. The pair finished 36 holes at 12-under 132 and are one shot clear of former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who carded a five-under 67 on Friday.
Play rotates over famed St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns over the first three rounds as professionals compete with amateurs. The final round will be at St. Andrews, the home of golf.
Fleetwood and Hoey both teed it up at Kingsbarns on Friday, while Oosthuizen played at Carnoustie.
Former U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell posted a five-under 67 at Carnoustie in round two and headlines a group tied for fourth at 10-under 134.
Several of the world's best are in the field this week, first among them, the world No. 1 Luke Donald. The Englishman only managed a one-under 71 at Carnoustie and is tied for 51st at minus-four.
Defending champion and world No. 6 Martin Kaymer posted a five-under 67 and is tied for ninth at nine-under 135, but the man one spot ahead of Kaymer in the rankings, Dustin Johnson, shot a one-over 73 on Friday at Carnoustie and is tied for 111th at even-par.
They're all chasing interesting co-leaders.
Fleetwood leads the Order of Merit on the European Challenge Tour, so he's assured of his card for next year.
"The last couple of weeks I've had no pressure on me really," acknowledged Fleetwood. "I know where I'm playing next year, which is great, and it's definitely given me confidence because there was a bit of thought of 'Can I win?' because I had been in there so many times."
Fleetwood got off to a great start on Friday with two birdies in his first three holes. He added three birdies in his last five holes of the front nine to make the turn at eight-under par for the championship.
The young Englishman birdied the 12th hole and two holes later, reached double-digits under par with another birdie. Fleetwood rattled off back-to- back birdies at 16 and 17 to get into the clubhouse at 12-under par.
"It feels pretty good," Fleetwood said. "It's pretty unexpected to be honest. Just to get the invite and the experience of playing here is great. I didn't hit it very well yesterday, but I holed good putts on the first three or four holes today and didn't really look back. I learn every time I play at the moment."
Hoey, who was a first-round co-leader, started on the back nine Friday at Carnoustie and also birdied two of his first three holes. He collected two more birdies on his opening nine and was 10-under par for the tournament.
Hoey, this year's Madeira Islands Open winner, bogeyed the second, but got the stroke back with a birdie at No. 3. The Northern Irishman tapped in a short birdie putt at the fifth and birdied the sixth to get to 12-under. Hoey parred out for his share of the lead.
"I've always enjoyed this pro-am format," said Hoey. "A couple of years ago I was tied for the lead after two rounds. It's slow, but it really takes your mind off stuff between shots."
First-round co-leader Markus Brier (68), Daniel Gaunt (65), Marc Warren (67) and Jaco Van Zyl (67) joined McDowell in fourth place, two shots behind the leaders.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who also shared the lead after round one, posted a three-under 69 to match Kaymer in ninth at minus-nine.
NOTES: Oosthuizen was also a first-round co-leader...He will play St. Andrews in rounds three and four, which was the site of his commanding victory at last year's British Open...Ernie Els had a three-under 69 Friday and is tied for 65th at three-under par...Reigning Open Champion Darren Clarke struggled to a two-over 74 at Carnoustie and is tied for a distant 147th at plus-three...The cut will be made after the third round.