Hat­ton suf­fer­ing with­drawal symp­toms

Leader is miss­ing out on FIFA 18

Sport360 - - Golf/ Boxing News - By Phil Casey @pcaseysafc editorial@sport360.com

Tyrrell Hat­ton be­moaned miss­ing out on the launch of FIFA 18 as he re­mained on course for some real sil­ver­ware at the half­way stage of the Bri­tish Masters.

On the day the lat­est ver­sion of the pop­u­lar videogame was re­leased, Hat­ton added a sec­ond round of 65 to his open­ing 63 at Close House as English play­ers filled seven of the top nine places in the £3 mil­lion (Dh14.7m) event.

At 12-un­der par, Hat­ton en­joyed a three-shot lead over tour­na­ment host Lee West­wood, Ian Poul­ter, Ash­ley Ch­esters, Chris Han­son and Robert Karls­son, with Graeme Storm and Lee Slat­tery on eight un­der with Fin­land’s Mikko Ilo­nen.

Rory McIl­roy could only add a 69 to his open­ing 67 to lie eight shots off the pace on four un­der along­side Danny Wil­lett.

“I’m ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated I can’t play FIFA 18,” Hat­ton said af­ter a round con­tain­ing six birdies and one bo­gey. “It’s just as well I’m away for an­other few weeks oth­er­wise I’d prob­a­bly waste 12 hours a day on it.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting home and play­ing that, but at the same time I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the week­end ahead.

“I went to this event with the Eng­land Un­der-18 prac­tice squad when it was at The Bel­fry and it’s a great event, one that I’ll al­ways have on my sched­ule.

“It’s good to be back in form with a big run of events com­ing up with huge world rank­ing points. I’d like to play as well as I can and climb up the rank­ings and se­cure (a place) in all four ma­jors again next year.”

West­wood added a 65 to his open­ing 66 and has yet to drop a shot this week de­spite cop­ing with the de­mands of host­ing the event, which in­cluded hir­ing an ex­tra field for ad­di­tional park­ing as more than 18,000 spec­ta­tors at­tended on Thurs­day.

“It was nice to stand on that first tee yes­ter­day and see so many peo­ple here and the course in such great con­di­tion, and then it was nice to play so well,” the for­mer world No1 said. “I like my po­si­tion and I guess it’s nice for the host to be in con­tention.

“I’ve been busy for a year ba­si­cally, then very busy for the last week and ex­tremely busy for the last three days, so when I slipped my spikes on yes­ter­day af­ter­noon it was a bit of a re­lief to ac­tu­ally be a golfer again.”

Poul­ter cel­e­brated his 10th wed­ding an­niver­sary by also shoot­ing a 65 to move into con­tention for a first vic­tory since 2012, four of his six birdies com­ing in suc­ces­sion from the 12th.

“It’s gen­er­ally the week of the Ry­der Cup so that’s al­ways been an awk­ward one as well,” Poul­ter said of his an­niver­sary. “Katie’s not here but I sent a big bunch of roses.”

Alive and kick­ing: Tyrrell Hat­ton leads at Close House.

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