Hatton leads at halfway on Scottish links

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Tyrrell Hatton has produced a brilliant display of links golf on day two in Scotland to keep himself on track for a third victory at the three-course Links Championship.

The Englishman arrived in Scotland fresh off the 19-9 hammering at the hands of the United States in the Ryder Cup and could not have faced a much tougher test as he played the famously difficult Carnoustie on day one and then faced high winds at Kingsbarns in Friday's second round.

But after posting a sparkling 64 at the Open Championship venue, he battled his way to a 70 to get to 10-under and lead by one heading into a weekend over the Old Course at St Andrews.

Fellow Englishman Daniel Gavins was his nearest challenger, a shot clear of 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett and China's Li Haotong.

There was a fine performance, too, from Australian journeyman Deyen 'Digger' Lawson, who shot an excellent 68 at Kingsbarns that has pushed him among a cluster of nine players all tied in seventh place on six-under, just four off the pace.

"I'm happy with how I scored," said Hatton. "It was really tough out there. It was quite easy to make mistakes, very easy to hit bad shots.

"I guess I was fortunate at times where when I did hit a bad shot, I didn't end up in too much of a dodgy position. I was able to get it on to the green.

"I'm happy with how I fought out there today in tough conditions."

Starting at the 10th, Hatton turned in level par with three birdies and three bogeys but back-to-back gains on the sixth and seventh took him to the top of the leaderboard.

Hatton had been partnered by Maverick Antcliff, who had been the top Australian overnight but who found Kingsbarns too much of a handful with his second round 78.

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