Hat­ton’s five-shot lead puts him in driv­ing seat Le­ices­ter win again but Ir­ish grab a bonus

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - RACING -

DE­FEND­ING cham­pion Tyrrell Hat­ton put him­self on the brink of a dream vic­tory at St An­drews as he opened up a five-shot lead head­ing into the fi­nal round of the Al­fred Dun­hill Links Cham­pi­onship.

The En­glish­man equalled the course record at the home of golf last year on his way to a four-shot vic­tory and a first Euro­pean Tour ti­tle, and a bo­gey-free 65 put him in a com­mand­ing po­si­tion to de­fend his crown.

Af­ter open­ing with a 68 on the Old Course on Thurs­day, he fol­lowed that with a 65 at Carnoustie and match­ing that mark at Kings­barns moved him to 18 un­der, with French­man Gre­gory Bourdy his clos­est chal­lenger.

Ire­land’s Paul Dunne was then at 11 un­der with for­mer world num­ber one Luke Don­ald and fel­low En­glish­man Ross Fisher a fur­ther shot back but all eyes will be on Hat­ton when he tees off on to­day.

Rory McIl­roy, with­out a win in 2017, had been out­side the cut mark but fin­ished four un­der to make it by one. LE­ICES­TER recorded their fourth straight Premier­ship vic­tory with a 28-27 suc­cess over Lon­don Ir­ish at the Made­jski Sta­dium.

It is the first time since March 2015 the Tigers have won four on the bounce as Nick Malouf and Will Evans scored tries ei­ther side of half-time.

Jonny May also con­tin­ued his im­pres­sive try-scor­ing run but tries from Blair Cowan, David Paice and Alex Lew­ing­ton gave Ir­ish a de­served los­ing bonus point.

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