A sequence of four successive birdies has ensured Matt Wallace remains firmly in contention at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

A three-under-par round of 69 at St Andrews’ Old Course left the Moor Park Golf Club professional two shots off the first round lead. And the gap to the top of the leaderboard looked set to remain at two for the 27-year-old, but he bogeyed his final hole to shoot a five-under-par 67 at Carnoustie.

Playing the second of the three courses in the European Tour Pro-Am event, Wallace dropped a shot early on with a bogey six at the par five 12th after teeing off from the 10th.

But this year’s Open de Portugal winner more than made up for that bogey at the next par five, the 14th, where he made an eagle three and he immediately followed that with another three at the par four 15th.

The Pinner golfer, who is being partnered by journalist David Walsh, then played par golf until he made a three at the par four fourth. It was to be the first of four consecutive birdies as he played the next three holes in three, four, three to move up to nine-under for the tournament and very much in the mix ahead of his third round at Kingsbarns tomorrow.

Wallace had been in a three-way tie for fourth approaching the ninth, but the bogey five meant he dropped back into a five-way share for sixth at the time of writing, three behind leader and defending champion Tyrrell Hatton.

Moor Park club-mate Callum Shinkwin had a difficult opening day at Carnoustie where he shot a four-over 76.

The Bushey professional, who is playing with former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, fared better at Kingsbarns, but a level par 72 means he remains towards the back of the field at plus-four.

This year’s Scottish Open runner-up also started from the 10th and a bogey five at 11 was immediately retrieved with a birdie four at 12.

The 24-year-old then had to be patient until he made a second birdie of the day with a three at the fifth, only to drop back to four-over with a bogey five at six.

Unlike a conventional European Tour event, there is no cut after two rounds – that will come after tomorrow’s third round when the field is reduced to the top 60 and ties for Sunday’s final round at St Andrews.

The top 20 Pro-Am teams also make it through to the last day and Wallace and Walsh are in tie for 26th on 14-under, seven shots behind leaders Gregory Bourdy and Aidan Heavey.