KINGSBARNS -- South Africa's Branden Grace continued a remarkable season with birdies on his closing five holes to shoot a 12-under course record 60 on day one of the Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday.
Grace, who has won three European Tour events this year, took full advantage of the superb scoring conditions at Kingsbarns, one of three courses hosting the $5 million event.
The 24-year old Grace's score was two shots fewer than the 62 posted by England's Lee Westwood on his way to victory in 2003.
And while no player has yet to record a 59 in the 40-year history of the European Tour, Grace is now the 15th player to shoot 60.
"It could have been a 59 and I said to my caddy when I hit it stiff on 18 that it could be close to a 59," Grace said. "I had some opportunities, but you know, I never really made anything long... But that round has to be my best ever."
Victor Dubuisson set the Old Course at nearby St. Andrews alight with a new course record of a 10-under par 62, despite dropping a shot at the 16th hole.
"It's very special as I had 10-under par in Italy last year but today I could have done better," said the 22-year old Frenchman. "I'm not saying that 10-under is really bad. It's my best score I have ever played but it's just that my longest putt was five meters."
Dubuisson's round is one stroke fewer than the previous low of 63 set by three players, including Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during the 2010 Open Championship.
The lowest round of the day at Carnoustie was a 5 under 67 shared by England's Oliver Wilson and Frenchman Gregory Havret.
Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., opened with a 1 under 71.
"I am a bit tired and just played poorly," said Lawrie, winner of the inaugural event in 2001.
"My first 12 holes was probably my worst ball-striking of the year but I put that down to a bit of jet-lag and I also didn't sleep well last night."
Johnson, competing in the event for a second straight year, had moved to four under par after 12 holes but dropped four shots in his closing four for a 72 at Carnoustie.