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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Casey in control at Dunhill Links
Paul Casey
Paul Casey continued his electric form in Scotland

DAY ONE LEADERBOARD:
GB & Ire unless stated
-9 P Casey KB
-8 B Dredge SA, J Edfors (Swe) KB
-7 G Evans SA, V Singh (Fij) KB
Selected others:
-6 A Hansen (Nor) CN, P Harrington KB
-4 R Karlsson (Swe) KB, H Stenson (Swe) KB
+1 C Montgomerie KB
+3 D Howell KB
* KB: Kingsbarns, SA: St Andrews, CN: Carnoustie

Paul Casey hit a sparkling round of 63 at Kingsbarns to lead the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by one shot.

Casey's round left him in firm control of the European Order of Merit after nearest rival David Howell limped to a four-over 76 at the same course.

Howell, playing with a shoulder injury, trails by 80,000 in the money list.

Professionals and amateurs also played at St Andrews and Carnoustie on Thursday and must play all courses before Sunday's finale at St Andrews.

But many of the big names were at Kingsbarns, six miles from St Andrews, where Johan Edfors fired a 64, one better than Vijay Singh and two ahead of Irishman Padraig Harrington.

I still feel tired and I went into this week not expecting much

Paul Casey

Welshman Bradley Dredge had a round of 64 to lead those playing their first round at St Andrews, while Anders Hansen led the way with a 65 at Carnoustie.

But no-one could match Casey, who had four twos on his scorecard, including an incredible eagle on the par-four 6th.

He is now a strong favourite to end the year as top European.

But Howell, Harrington and Swedes Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson, who both had 68s at Kingsbarns, still have outside chances of topping the Order of Merit.

Colin Montgomerie's bid to retain that title was badly damaged by a one-over round at Kingsbarns.

"I still feel tired and I went into this week not expecting much," said Casey. "That's probably why I've played well."

He added: "I spoke to Howler (Howell) in the locker-room and we're just going to play our golf and not think about the Order of Merit.

"I'd dearly love to win it, but if I don't then this will have been a wonderful year anyway."

The pro-am event sees each of the 168 professionals teamed up with amateur partners that include Hugh Grant, Ian Botham and Steve Redgrave.

The teams play one round at each of the courses over the first three days before the top 60 professionals and those tied for 60th place, together with the top 20 teams, compete in Sunday's final round.

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