Near miss frustrates Uihlein
Peter Uihlein was cursing his luck after coming agonisingly close to shooting the first ever 59 on the European Tour on Friday.
England's Tom Lewis took a one-shot lead into the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Saturday, but American Uihlein was among those snapping at his heels after coming agonisingly close to the milestone.
Uihlein needed to eagle the par-five ninth at Kingsbarns, his final hole, to break the magical 60 barrier but saw his long-range effort drift inches wide of the hole.
The 24-year-old therefore had to settle for the 17th round of 60 on the European Tour for a halfway total of 13 under par - two shots behind Lewis, who shot 65 over the Old Course at St Andrews on a second day of ideal scoring conditions.
Uihlein, who won his maiden title in Madeira in May, had started on the back nine at Kingsbarns and followed a birdie on the 11th with an eagle on the 12th, before picking up birdies at the 17th and 18th to reach the turn in 31.
At that stage a 59 did not look on the cards, but the world number 100 birdied the second, carded his second eagle of the day on the third and then birdie three of his next four holes.
"I knew I needed to make an eagle and I thought I hit a good putt," Uihlein said. "I thought it would come back to the right but it kept going left.
"When I made that birdie on the 17th to go 11 under that was the first time 59 crossed my mind. I was in the zone out there and it was cool. I am definitely not as calm underneath (as it looked) but I just tried to stay with my routines and keep the same swing thought.
"I put a lot of work in during the off-season and even on my off weeks I'm still practising and grinding so it's nice to see the results so quickly."
Uihlein will now be hoping history repeats itself after South African Branden Grace shot 60 at Kingsbarns last year and went on to lift the title.
Lewis held a one-shot lead over Holland's Joost Luiten - twice a winner already this season - with Uihlein sharing third with English quartet Tommy Fleetwood, Mark Foster, Oliver Wilson and Richard McEvoy and South African Hennie Otto.
"I feel like I am home again," said Lewis, who was the leading amateur in the Open in 2011 and then won the Portugal Masters in his third event as a professional but is currently battling to keep his card for next season.
"Links golf suits me, I won the St Andrews Links Trophy here in 2011 and it's great to come back. I knew I had good form coming in but Friday has been my enemy this year so it's good to get it out of the way."