Saturday, 26 June 2010
While all eyes were on the major players in the second round of the Brabazon Trophy, supported by SkyCaddie, at Royal Liverpool, Tyrrell Hatton stole up on the blind side to snatch the halfway lead.
A 69 added to his opening 71 left the 18 year old from Marlow on four under par and one clear of Slovenia’s Tim Gornik and Darren Wright from Hampshire and two ahead of the rest of the field on another day of testing conditions over the famous links (picture © Tom Ward).
Hatton, who was a member of the England Under 18 Squad last year and won the Canadian Junior Challenge when representing the EGU, was surprised to find himself at the head of the field.
“I didn’t expect to be leading but I played solid all day,” said Hatton, who was out in the afternoon. “I think we had it a lot tougher than the morning starters because the wind got up and the greens are quite slick.”
Now he has his nose in front can he stay there? “I’ve never been in this position before in such a big event,” he added. “It will be interesting to see how I cope. I led from the front in Canada but this is a lot different.”
Hatton made the best of starts to his round with birdies at the first two holes and he added another at the eighth to be three under for his round. He dropped his only shot at nine in an outward 34 then reeled off eight straight pars before picking up another shot at the last.
Gornik, who shared the overnight lead with Tommy Fleetwood, was out early in perfect conditions and had three birdies in a level par 72 along with a triple bogey seven at the first where he fired his second shot out of bounds.
The man from Eastern Europe looked like occupying second spot on his own until Wright in the third game from the end came in with 68. He would have had a share of the lead but for a bogey five at the last where he failed to get up-and-down from right of the green.
“I was lying second at the halfway point last year at Moortown but eventually finish 20th, “ he said. “But I’m having a steady season and have almost every cut.”
The biggest gallery of the day followed Fleetwood but he struggled with 73 for 142 and joint third place along with fellow international Jamie Abbott, St Andrews Links Trophy winner Matt Southgate and Welsh cap Oliver Farr.
“I didn’t play as well as yesterday and struggled over the front nine with the ball going left,” Said Fleetwood. “I was going well on the back nine but I got unlucky a couple of times. The greens got very crusty so the weekend could be a disaster if they tuck the pins away.” He found a bogey from the middle of the 16th fairway but holes from 25 feet on the last to save par. “My tea will taste sweeter after that,” he added.
Southgate, who went round in 70 for 142, declared himself: “Absolutely chuffed because the course was getting very fiery. It’s going to be the guy who makes the fewest mistakes who will win. There is a lot of golf to be played but I’m happy to be in contention again.”
Farr, currently leading the Welsh Order of Merit after two wins this season, produced one of the best rounds with 68. “I’m delighted to shoot four under but I bogeyed the last which was disappointing,” said the man from Shropshire.
The closing holes seemed to trip up a host of players, not least Jamie Abbott, who was three under after 14 holes but finished 6-5-4 to sign for a second 71. “I had a bad lie in a bunker on 16 and lipped out from 30 feet for par then I three-putted 17 after making a bad swing,” he said.
The best return of the day came from Frenchman Clement Berardo who had an eagle and five birdies in a 67, which was ten shot better than his opening effort.
Several leading contenders are a handful of shots off the lead including internationals Todd Adcock, Billy Hemstock, Chris Paisley and James Robinson.
But the cut, which came at eight-over-par 152, proved costly for the likes of boy cap Chris Lloyd, Dutch international Wouter de Vries, new England international Laurie Canter and England captain Colin Edwards, all of whom will have the weekend off.
Play starts at 7am in the first two days and 7.30am on the last two and admission is free. For those unable to attend, live scoring and news updates are available on the Championships Section of the EGU website, www.englishgolfunion.org.
EGU Media Release