Overnight leaders Scotland slipped to fifth, 11 shots behind Australia, after suffering a tough second day in the Eisenhower Trophy in Mexico.
On fire as they shot 134 in their first round at Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club, the Scots struggled to a two-over par 144 total at the other venue, Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club.
Glencruitten left-hander Robert MacIntyre, the runner-up at this year’s Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl, had an even-par 71, while Grant Forrest and Connor Syme both shot 73.
Forrest’s topsy-turvy round included a triple-bogey at the par-4 first hole, his 10th, and a 60-foot eagle putt from the fringe at the fifth.
“It was one of those days where it couldn’t have gone much worse,” said Craigielaw man Forrest. “It’s just what happens sometimes, and you have a tough time when the putts don’t go in.”
Australia, one behind the Scots at the start of the day, stormed in an eight-stroke lead at halfway after Harrison Endycott and Cameron Davis both fired five-under 66s at Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club.
Helped by world No 1 Maverik McNealy reeling off five birdies in a row in his inward nine, defending champions USA moved into second spot, with Switzerland a further stroke back in third.
Two years after winning the event at the same venue, Sandy Lyle is returning to Panmure next month to headline the World Hickory Open.
“I was a relative hickory novice when I first played in this tournament in 2014,” admitted the two-time major winner. “But I’ve now been playing with hickories for almost five years so I’m looking forward to testing my skills across Panmure’s historic fairways and greens once again.”
Lyle played a practice round for last year’s Masters with a full set of hickory clubs and was “disappointed” that he failed to achieve his target of breaking 80. He then used a Tad Moore hickory-shafted putter for the opening major of the season.
Lyle’s title rivals on October 11-12 will include hickory specialist Paolo Quirici from Switzerland, Loretto School director of golf Rick Valentine and last year’s winner, Norfolk-based professional Andrew Marshall. “There are several other golf professionals, hickory experts and low handicap golfers who can’t be ruled out of becoming the overall champion,” stressed Lionel Freedman, co-founder and chair of the World Hickory Open.
The amateur line-up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in a fortnight’s time will include Niall Horan, the One Direction band member and Rory McIlroy’s close friend, for the first time.
“I love the history and tradition of golf and the Alfred Dunhill Links is played at the most iconic venue in the world,” said Horan, who is also playing in a celebrity event at Hazeltine next Tuesday in the build up to the Ryder Cup, of St Andrews, where the $5 million pro-am is played along with Carnoustie and Kingsbarns Links.
“It will be amazing walking these famous fairways with so many great professionals and actually being a part of the tournament. I hope I can create a few moments of my own, but simply being there and being part of this great event is enough.”
On-form Scott Jamieson was the leading Scot in the clubhouse in the rain-hit Porsche European Open in Germany.
Jamieson, with top 10s in his last two events, carded a three-under 68 to sit five behind the early pacesetter, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
Craig Lee posted a 69, one less than both David Drysdale and Paul Lawrie.
A third successive 68 left Bradley Neil sitting joint-fourth heading into the final round of his stage one European Tour Qualifying School event in Austria.
On 12-under, the former Amateur champion was sitting five shots inside the qualifying mark at Ebreichsdorf.
Pamela Pretswell and Gemma Dryburgh carded matching level-par 72s in the first round of the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino in Spain.
The efforts left the Scottish duo sitting four shots off the lead, held by American Amelia Lewis.
Bathgate’s Louis Gaughan started the final round of the PGA EuroPro Tour’s Clipper Logistics Championship at Moor Allerton in Yorkshire six shots off the lead.
It followed Gaughan adding a 72 to his opening 68, which Neil Fenwick also signed for in the first round but then missed the cut following a 76.
Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell catapulted himself into the lead after a second-round 64.
Forrester Park pro Paul Edgcombe and his amateur partner, Jamie Taylor, are in the hunt at the halfway stage in the Lombard Trophy grand final in Portugal.
The Fife pair carded a three-under-par 68 in the opening round at Vila Sol to sit joint-fourth, two shots behind Cirencester duo Edward Gooding and James Harding.
Drumpellier’s Ian Taylor and Hugh McIntyre, the other Scottish pairing in the 14-team line-up, carded a 74 to sit joint-12th.
Also flying the Saltire in the event are Alan Hemsley and Albert MacKenzie, the PGA pros at Barnham Broom and Saunton respectively.
Hemsley and Paul Dodman sit 10th on 72, a shot ahead of new PGA Cup captain MacKenzie and his partner, Paddy Towson.
Next week’s £50,000 Highland Golf Links Pro-Am, which is being sponsored for the first tiome by Blue Group, has attracted a capacity field of 76 teams from across the UK.
Some 304 players have committed to playing in the Tartan Tour event and they will compete on successive days at Castle Stuart Golf Links, Royal Dornoch and Nairn.
“Since its inception in 2013, the Pro-Am has grown steadily in popularity. This year, the involvement of Blue has helped stimulate new interest in the event and demand for places has been such that we have reached our capacity,” said Highland Golf Links chairman Fraser Cromarty.
“We are very excited at the rapid growth of the event and hope to see it develop further in coming years with the support of Blue Group.”
Winterfield pro Gordon Hillson won a closely-fought battle for the Bernard Gallacher Trophy as the new Edinburgh & East of Scotland Alliance season teed off at Bathgate.
Hillson’s net 69 was matched by Kings Acre’s Andrew Oldcorn as well as two amateurs, Alan Crabbe from Kingsknowe and Torwoodlee’s David Brydon.
But, in the card play-off, his back nine of 34, secured the day’s main spoils at the home of Lothians legend Gallacher.