Alfred Dunhill Links Championship: Oliver Wilson is 'moving in right direction'


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The Independent Online

Former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson continued his career rebuilding process as his first round 64 gave him a share of the lead in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

Wilson, a five-time runner-up on the European Tour, who finished seventh on the 2009 Order of Merit and played in the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla, has endured a nightmare fall from grace, culminating in him losing his card at the end of last season.

But if the world number 489 needs any further motivation to regain the form of 2009, he need look no further than his former Ryder Cup partner Henrik Stenson, who was 230th in the rankings at the start of 2012 but is now fourth and $11m richer after his Tour Championship and FedEx Cup triumphs.

"I'm playing a lot better," said Wilson. "For the first time in probably over a year actually, I have some control over my shots and am able to hit the shots and trust it under pressure as well. I just have to keep playing well.

"The game is improving all the time and everything's settled down and moving in the right direction. It's nice because it's been a while."

Oliver shares the lead with fellow Englishmen Richard McEvoy and Tom Lewis, plus France's Alexandre Kaleka and Chilean Mark Tullo who all cashed in on the favourable scoring conditions. With just two events after this one for players to retain their cards, all five leaders currently lie outside the all-important top 110.