Perez and Southgate lead Dunhill Links, Rose and McIlroy stall

By Sports Desk September 28, 2019

Victor Perez and Matthew Southgate hit the front at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Saturday as several big names faltered in Scotland.

Perez has never won a European Tour event but, after tackling St Andrews and Carnoustie with some success, he kicked clear on the Kingsbarns leg, only to be caught by Southgate.

Paul Waring had set a clubhouse target of 18 under before Perez crept into contention and then seized control of the tournament with five consecutive birdies.

The Frenchman started from the 10th but left his best work for the way back on the traditional front nine, picking up shots from the second to sixth holes.

Perez recovered from a bogey at the eighth to end with a birdie and carded an eight-under 64 to move to 20 under.

But he was matched by Southgate, playing St Andrews, at the last, the 30-year-old's late birdie securing a seven under - his scores this week reading: 65, 66, 65.

Invitee Matthew Jordan, who had led heading into the weekend, saw his form tail away at Carnoustie, firing three straight birdies on the back nine but ending with two bogeys across the final three holes, slumping to joint-ninth with a 71.

But he was far from the only player to have excelled on Friday and found the following day's play rather trickier.

Justin Rose lit up the tournament with a sensational first nine holes on Friday, scoring just 28 before the turn, but he was back in a tie for 14th after 48 holes.

The Englishman could only manage a two-under 70 even with a birdie at the last at St Andrews.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy also shot a 70 at the Old Course after a slow start and was joint-40th, a shot back from Tommy Fleetwood, who recorded the same score in a very mixed round.

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