Tour News

Hatton leads Alfred Dunhill Links

Zunic's win at last year's NZ Open secured him a start in this event. (Photo: NZ Open )
Tyrrell Hatton will go in search of a maiden European Tour title on the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after a stunning third round of 62 – the lowest of his burgeoning career – earned him a three-shot lead over his compatriot Ross Fisher.  

Hatton, who missed the cut in both his previous appearances in the Alfred Dunhill Links, birdied his last two holes to move to 17 under par, and the Englishman will return to the Old Course on Sunday to try close the tournament out and walk away with a cheque for €711,073. 

Hatton came mighty close to securing a debut title in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July, before eventually finishing one shot behind Alex Noren, but he is on course to break his duck after equalling the course record with a flawless display at St Andrews. 

Six birdies before the turn and four more after gave the 25 year old some breathing space at the top of the leaderboard, but with Martin Kaymer amongst the chasing pack on 12 under par after a round of 65, Hatton may have to repeat his heroics if he is to succeed Thorbjørn Olesen as champion.

Fisher, who recently lost a play-off in the Porsche European Open, shot a solid 69 at Carnoustie to maintain his fine form, while Richard Sterne and Joakim Lagergren are also in the hunt on 13 under par after they shot respective rounds of 65 and 69 at St Andrews.

Marc Warren is the leading Scot on 11 under par, whilst Florian Fritsch posted a 65, the lowest round of the day at Carnoustie, to join his fellow German Kaymer in a share of fifth place.

Hatton and his amateur partner, actor Jamie Dornan, are two shots off the pace in the Pro-Am competition, which is led by Poland’s Adrian Meronk – making his professional debut – and Johan Eliasch, Chairman and CEO of global sporting goods group Head N.V.

“It’s quite clearly the best round I’ve ever had,” said Hatton. “I’ve never got to double digits under par before, so I’m very pleased with that. Obviously I’d love to get a win so I’ll try my best tomorrow. It’s been a really consistent year so far, and it would be nice to have a good finish to the season.

"The Old Course hasn’t generally been too kind to me in the past, but hopefully I can have another good day here tomorrow.“I putted really well again today. That was the big thing. I just kept the momentum going by holing some good birdie putts, and I holed a couple of good par putts as well. That kept things going, and I’m obviously really happy with the finish.”

Wollongong’s Jordan Zunic, the 2015 New Zealand Open winner, leads the Australians in 12th position, his round of 67 at St Andrews today sure to remain long in the memory back as will the money if he is able to replicate his effort when he returns to the Old Course today.

A finish inside the top six players this week would result in Zunic’s biggest cheque in the game and provide a great boost for the talented 24 year old and another 67 would go very close to doing just that.

Zunic has a start in this lucrative event courtesy of his position on last year’s Australasian Tour Order of Merit.

Andrew Dodt and Matthew Guyatt also made the cut but are further back.


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