ST. ANDREWS, Scotland, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Back-to-back eagles helped move Ireland's Paul McGinley into the lead Friday midway through the inaugural Dunhill Links Championship.
McGinley, 34, sank a 146-yard 8-iron on the 464 yard fourth hole at St Andrews and followed it with a drive and five iron to 25 feet on the 568-yard fifth, from where he promptly sank the putt.
He finished with an 8-under 64 and reached the halfway point of the richest tournament ever staged in Britain at 13-under 141.
McGinley is being partnered this week by actor Kyle MacLachlan in the pro-am event being held on three courses.
"But I know what is at stake here for world ranking points," McGinley said. "I know how much we are playing for and what you can achieve by playing well. I don't regard it as a pro-am. It's a tournament for me."
McGinley, who will play at Carnoustie on Saturday, had a two-shot lead over Brian Davis and Tony Johnstone.
McGinley's day actually began at Kingsbarns because he was among the players unable to finish on Thursday due to fog. He immediately birdied the long 16th and parred the final two holes for a 67, then avoided every bunker at the Old Cuorse.
"I also hit 18 greens in regulation, although I know that's not saying much at St Andrews because of the size of the greens," he said. "But the two eagles were the bonus. They turned a 68 into a 64."
This tournament is modeled after the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am