News All Articles
Hatton storms home to share lead in Scotland

Hatton storms home to share lead in Scotland

Tyrrell Hatton produced a stunning back nine of 29 at Carnoustie Golf Links to shake off his Ryder Cup disappointment and take a share of the lead as he looks for a third victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Tyrrell Hatton

The Englishman was part of the European team that suffered a 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits last week but he showed no ill effects as he carded an opening 64 that moved him to eight under alongside Spaniard Adri Arnaus, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and China's Li Haotong.

Local favourite Ewen Ferguson, Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey and Frenchman Romain Langasque were then at seven under, one clear of England's Tommy Fleetwood, Thai Jazz Janewattananond and Dane Jeff Winther.

Arnaus and Colsaerts were both playing the Old Course at St Andrews, while Li - who has not made a cut in 13 events on the 2021 Race to Dubai - found his form in spectacular style with a bogey free round at Kingsbarns Golf Links.

Hatton claimed his first two wins at this event in 2016 and 2017 before going on to seal four Rolex Series victories and while the World Number 19 made a mockery of Carnoustie's fierce reputation on the back nine, he admitted he did not realise he was scoring so well.

"I didn't actually realise, I just signed my card then," he said. "Obviously we needed a big back nine and very happy that the putter worked well and hopefully that continues.

"It's always nice to start pretty good around this golf course. You go to the other ones and feel like you've got slightly more of a chance than here so we'll see what the week brings."

The 29-year-old birdied the second and fourth but gave a shot back on the seventh before starting the back nine birdie birdie eagle and adding further gains on the 14th and 15th, with a long putt on the 17th putting him in a share.

Li is a two time European Tour winner but has made just three cuts in the last 13 months, and his opening effort was just his fourth sub-70 round of the season.

He made gains on the first, fifth, eighth, tenth and 12th and, while he missed a great opportunity on the 15th, he finished with three birdies to hit the summit.

Colsaerts has two top tens at this event and was delighted to shoot his lowest ever score at the Old Course having played just 18 holes of golf since the BMW PGA Championship.

We needed a big back nine and very happy that the putter worked well and hopefully that continues - Tyrrell Hatton

"I think I've only played 18 holes in two weeks," he said. "So I basically had no expectations whatsoever.

"Once you start to play well at the Home of Golf, it's a pretty nice feeling when you hit the shots, and making two eagles on the two par fives and birdie on 18, you basically tick every box on the Old Course, which is nice."

A poor tee shot at the second resulted in a bogey for Colsaerts but he soon bounced back, putting his second at the par five fifth to 15 feet and rolling home an eagle.

He then had an incredible spell of iron play, putting shots to inside six feet at the seventh, ninth, tenth and 11th to catapult himself up the leaderboard.

A 35 foot putt on the 14th then brought a second eagle of the round and when he almost drove the green at the 18th, a closing birdie handed him the solo lead.

A 64 matches Arnaus' lowest round on the European Tour and he was delighted to be getting to grips with links golf after missing the cut on his debut at this event in 2019.

"Every year that goes by I learn new things and as an amateur I did play a little bit around here but it's not my native environment," he said. "But I still enjoy coming to where the golf started and it's, at the end of the day, a cool part of golf."

Arnaus holed a long putt on the fifth to go with smart shots into the fourth, sixth and ninth before holing a 35 footer on the 11th. Good up-and-downs then brought birdies on the 12th and 14th before he put an approach to 15 feet on the 17th and missed a golden opportunity on the last.

Ferguson was bogey free at St Andrews, Langasque made an eagle and a bogey en route to his 65 over the Old Course, and Hoey eagled the par four sixth in his blemish free effort at Kingsbarns.

Fleetwood - twice a runner up at this event - was bogey free at Carnoustie, Winther dropped a single shot at the eight time Open Championship venue, and Janewattananond made eight birdies and two bogeys at St Andrews.

In the team event, Ferguson and Brad Simpson topped the leaderboard at 12 under alongside Danny Willett and Jimmy Dunne.

Read next