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Peter Uihlein is back at St Andrews with a mission

Ten years ago Peter Uihlein came within a whisker of winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, losing in a sudden death play-off to David Howell.

It was an eventful week for the American who missed a putt for a historic 59 at Kingsbarns, and had a dramatic pitch in for an eagle on the 18th hole of the Old Course.

In the first round of this year’s Championship it was as if nothing had changed, as Uihlein, now 34, showed the same flashes of skill and determination as he powered to the top of the leaderboard with a 64 at St Andrews, and a first round tie with Spain’s Adri Arnaus and Sweden’s Sebastian Söderberg.

Uihlein said: “I was close here in the playoff. At the time, I didn't really know it, but looking back that would have been one really special one to win. I've always enjoyed coming back. Hopefully I can string together three more good days and see what happens.

“I think it's a good test. I have good history here.The golf is a lure over here. I like it when it gets windy and challenging. It it's just a lot of fun and something I enjoy doing.”

One shot back is a group of six golfers; Scotland’s Grant Forrest, American challenger Billy Horschel, South Africa’s Zander Lombard and Wilco Nienaber, Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts and Sweden’s Marcus Helligkilde.

Champion Ryan Fox mounted an impressive start to the defence of his title, with birdies on four of the last five holes of the difficult finish of Carnoustie.

He said: “I played great most of the day. Birdying a couple of those tough holes. 16, 17, is a nice bonus. You don't expect to play those holes in a couple under. I'm really chuffed with the start.”

Jens Dantorp & Ric Lewis lead the Team Championship after a 13-under-par at Kingsbarns.