Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton will take a massive five-shot lead into the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The first two days of competition saw a close race between the front runners but Hatton was able to create some serious distance between himself and the rest of the field at Kingsbarns on Saturday.
The Englishman shot his second successive 65 to add to an opening 68 for a whopping 18 under par total.
That was five strokes clear of his nearest competitor, Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, and a further two shots ahead of Irishman Paul Dunne.
Two more Englishman – Luke Donald and Ross Fisher – follow on 10 under in a tie for fourth, eight shots back.
After 54 holes:
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 7, 2017
Hatton’s 65 at Kingsbarns was bogey free, punctuated by birdies at the first, third, fourth, ninth, 10th, 12th and 14th.
“Last year, this event was a fantastic moment for me,” said Hatton. “It’s great to be back and I’m enjoying my first defence.
“Last year was a new experience for me going out leading a tournament and I managed to do a really good job. Made myself very difficult to catch, hopefully I can do that again tomorrow.
“I’ll certainly try my best to do that. That’s all anyone can ever do is try their best and I’ll certainly do that.
Really happy with that round at kingsbarns! Played good in breezy conditions!
Looking forward to the challenge tomorrow #DunhillLinks
— Tyrrell Hatton (@TyrrellHatton) October 7, 2017
With all the players now having played each of the three courses being used for the event, they will now all congregate at St. Andrews for Sunday’s final round.
“To win at the home of golf once is incredible but to do it again and defend would be a dream come true,” added Hatton.
A bogey-free 67 handed Finland’s Mikko Korhonen a one-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Shot Clock Masters in Austria.