AUSTRALIA’S Richard Green made the biggest move up the leaderboard as wind and rain made scoring difficult in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.
Green began the day four shots off the lead after an opening 68 at Kingsbarns, one of the three courses used for the pro-am event.
But three birdies in his first three holes on the Old Course at St Andrews took the left-hander to within one shot of overnight leader Oliver Wilson, who had equalled the course record with an opening 64 at Carnoustie.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry was also playing St Andrews and a birdie on the 10th, his opening hole, moved the Irishman alongside Green on seven under par, one ahead of Stephen Gallacher, Padraig Harrington and Raphael Jacquelin.
Gallacher, who made his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles last week but failed to win a point in Europe’s third straight victory over the United States, had picked up two early birdies at Kingsbarns, while vice-captain Harrington was level par for day after six holes.
Gallacher was comfortably performing the best of the four Ryder Cup players on show, with Victor Dubuisson level par, Rory McIlroy one over and Martin Kaymer two over par.
Green’s charge came to a grinding halt with bogeys at the 15th and 16th and a double bogey on the 17th, dropping him back to three under par and six behind Wilson.
Wilson had dropped a shot on the 11th at Kingsbarns, his second hole of the day, but bounced back with birdies in quick succesion to reclaim the lead on nine under par, one ahead of 2008 Ryder Cup team-mate Harrington, who had birdied the 12th and 13th.
McIlroy had parred the first three holes to remain one over and was joined on that score by Kaymer, who had birdied the 11th.
McIlroy, partnered by his father Gerry and keen to make the cut in the team event so Gerry could play St Andrews on Sunday on his 55th birthday, dropped back to two over par with a bogey on the 14th.
However, the world number one responded in style with a superb fairway-wood approach to the par five 16th and rolled in the eagle putt from 15 feet to get back to level par.