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Big John Daly squanders early lead at Dunhill championship

FORMER Open champion John Daly today squandered a great start in the early stages of the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

Daly looked set to make the most of the unseasonably good weather when he opened with birdies at the first two holes at Carnoustie, usually the hardest of the three courses used for the pro-am event.

But the two-time major winner then dropped shots at the third and sixth to drop back to level par, three shots off the early lead held by Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

Cabrera-Bello eagled the third at Kingsbarns and added a birdie on the fourth to lie three under, one clear of a six-strong group including Scotland's David Drysdale and Gary Orr and English duo Ross McGowan and Robert Dinwiddie, who were all playing St Andrews.

Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin was two under after four holes at Carnoustie, while New Zealand's Gareth Paddison had played five holes at Kingsbarns.

Most of the star names were starting from the 10th tee at Kingsbarns today, including world number one Luke Donald, US Open champion Rory McIlroy and world number two Lee Westwood.

Donald is looking to become the first man to top the money list on both sides of the Atlantic and has a lead of £1.4million over McIlroy, but there are enough lucrative events remaining to give the chasing pack hope.

PA Media