Hatton One Clear & 61-Under For 11 Rounds As He Nears Historic Third Dunhill Links Trophy

St. Andrews, Scotland ..

Tyrrell Hatton will take a one shot lead into what will a near rare European Tour ‘shotgun’ start to the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

Hatton collected two eagles and also birdied the last in a round of a 66 on the famed Old Course to move to 14-under par and one shot clear of Australia’s Marcus Fraser who birdied three of his closing four holes at Kingsbarns Links in a round of 67 for a 13-under par tally.

Ryder Cup winning hero, Tommy Fleetwood (67) and 2004 Dunhill Links winner, Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher (66) share third place on 11-under par.

However the forecast of up to 40mph winds just after lunch on Sunday will see the last round of the $5m event tee-off at 8.30am with Hatton and Fraser hitting off the  first hole of the Old Course.

Tyrrelll Hatton drives off the final hole on the Old Course at St. Andrews. (Photo – European Tour/Getty)

“With wind speeds predicted to gust up to 40 mph tomorrow afternoon, Tournament Officials have decided to employ a shotgun start to ensure the best chance of completing the final round on schedule,” said a statement from event organisers.

European Tour officials working in Scotland had no knowledge if any round in recent Tour history has been played under a ‘shotgun start’, and a format that is traditionally used in playing a pro-am.

With 60 players making the three-under par cut-off mark along with those in contention for the team event also needing to tee-up, it promises to be tight squeeze if the predicted winds arrive on time.

Tyrrell Hatton looking to join a very exclusive European Tour club of having won the same event three years running.

Hatton is seeking to not only win the event for an historic third straight year but if he did he would join Tiger Woods (2005-2007  WGC AMEX Championship), Ernie Els (2002-2004 Heineken Classic), Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie (1998 -2000 BMW PGA Championship) and with the last Englishman to achieve the feat being Nick Faldo (1991-1993 Irish Open).

“It would be pretty surreal to win the same event three years running and I’m certainly going to go out there tomorrow and give it my best,” he said.

“But to join that club would be special, and yes, all I can do, like I said is just give it my best shot and hope for the best.”

Hatton ended his round at the Old Course enjoying a three-shot lead but didn’t count on Fraser, who was competing nearby Kingsbarns Links birding three of his last four holes to reduce the gap to one and in the process open the door for any many as nine others within five shots behind Hatton.

Fraser, and like Hatton, is a three-time European Tour but unlike his English rival the 40-year old Australian and current World No. 487 has yet to win on the European continent with his three victories coming in Russie, Korea and Malaysia.

Fleetwood capped a second straight round of 67 birding the first three holes on the Old Course and then a further four from the fifth to 12th hole to be seven-under par for his round before handing two shots back with bogeys at 16 and 17.

“It was a little bit frustrating near the end as I played really good golf for the most part of my round but then started to hit it not so great off the tee for like the last few holes,” he said.

“But still, it was a good day’s work, but it’s just when you get it going, you expect better.

“And coming off a brilliant Ryder Cup last week it would be massive to as ever since I have been coming to here to St. Andrews I’ve alway wanted .. well I want my picture taken on that bridge with the trophy.

“There’s quite a few tournaments you want to win, but this one is right up there, being at the Home of Golf.”























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