There are many ways to get a little dimpled ball into a little hole. Watching Calum Hill mull over a putt, for instance, is a bit like gazing at the elaborate mating rituals of the Greater Sage Grouse.

The approach continues to reap the rewards, though, as the Kinross golfer kept himself in the merry midst of the title race at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with a seven-under 65 on the Old Course for a 13-under tally which left him just a shot behind halfway leader, Matthew Jordan.

Hill, who leads the Challenge Tour rankings and is already guaranteed promotion to next season’s European Tour, is a great advocate of the Aim Point technique on the greens.

In a nutshell, the process, which is also employed by the likes of Justin Rose and Adam Scott, involves using your feet to estimate the amount of slope on the putting surface and then utilising your arms and fingers to determine an aim point amid much rocking, pivoting, pointing and posturing.


Hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo, sorcery, witchcraft? Call it what you like, Hill is a fan. “It’s helped me a lot and I probably won’t stop,” said the 24-year-old.

Hill’s presence in the upper echelons is not really a surprise to those who have been keeping an eye on his startling progress.

In the last year or so, he has made the kind of giant leaps that should have been accompanied by a crackly quote from Neil Armstrong.

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Last August, he was 1482nd in the world. In that time, he has won three Challenge Tour titles and posted a variety of other robust finishes and the young Scot is now 122nd on the global order.

“I’ve seen where it I am on the world rankings and I was a bit surprised to be honest,” he said of a rapid rise that would give most folk the bends. “It’s nice to be working up that way and it could put me in a great position for next year.”

Hard working and extremely competitive, Hill, who finished just outside the top 20 on his European Tour debut at July’s Scottish Open, continues to take the step up in his stride.

“It gives me confidence for next year that my game can stand up to the best in Europe,” added Hill, who reeled off seven birdies on a wet but relatively benign day in the Auld Grey Toun.

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Intriguingly, Hill is lurking just behind his fellow Challenge Tour player, and occasional room-mate, Jordan, who zipped to the front with a fine 64 on the Old Course for a 14-under aggregate. “It’s nice to see a buddy of mine doing well and hopefully I can catch him and go into Sunday together,” said the Scot.


Hill’s compatriot, Richie Ramsay stayed in the hunt for a fourth European Tour title with a 67 on the Old Course which left him just two off the pace.

Having been at the sharp end in both the British Masters and the BMW PGA Championship this season, Ramsay is keen to seize his opportunity on home turf. “I’ve been out here on tour a long time and I’ve managed to win three times, but that’s over 12 years,” he said.

“So opportunity doesn’t arise all the time and when it does, you’ve just got to go for it. I don’t want to be sitting with my slippers on when I’m 70 thinking ‘I could’ve won the Dunhill Links’.”

Russell Knox made it three Scots in the top-five as a 66 at Carnoustie left him alongside Ramsay on 12-under.