14 July 2023

Tyrrell Hatton storms up Scottish Open leaderboard with second-round 62

14 July 2023

England’s Tyrrell Hatton surged into contention for a first victory in two and a half years with a “stressful” second round of 62 in the Genesis Scottish Open.

Hatton, who began the day eight shots off the lead, carded nine birdies and a solitary bogey at the Renaissance Club to set an early clubhouse target of nine under par which was matched by South Korea’s Tom Kim.

World number one Scottie Scheffler and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington were two strokes off the pace following rounds of 65 and 66 respectively as the field battled changeable conditions in East Lothian.

Asked if his round was as easy as he made it look, Hatton said: “No, it was stressful at times, as most of my rounds are.

“But very happy with the chances I gave myself. I feel I hit a lot of good iron shots today, especially compared to Thursday. Very happy with how that was and nice to see some putts drop, too.

“I had three weeks off after the US Open and you probably saw a little bit on Thursday I was fatting a few shots.

“I was hitting balls off mats last week and, even though I got here Monday night I still had not managed to get the ball first. We managed to do that today and hopefully that continues this weekend.”

In contrast to Hatton, Harrington felt driving the ball well led to a stress-free 66, despite facing the worst of the wet and windy conditions in the first group out at 7.15am.

“I hit a great drive off my first hole of the day, 80 yards short of where I hit it yesterday,” the 51-year-old said.

“The marshals were a full 50 yards away from where they should have been for the first three, four holes because they had no idea how short the ball was going.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever been out first and I was hoping that I might turn up and get a break with the weather, but we kind of got the opposite. Then it lightened up obviously after six or seven holes. The ball started going a bit and it got a little easier then.”

Harrington has not won on the DP World Tour since 2016, but has won five times on the Champions Tour in the last 13 months, including successfully defending his title in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open last month.

“I feel I can challenge anybody on a links golf course without a doubt,” Harrington said. “From years of playing it comes natural to me.

“And I don’t have a problem coming back and playing with the young guys on any golf course, but obviously links makes it a little easier for me.”

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