Hat­ton puts ri­vals in shade with help of his cool co-star

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Golf - By James Cor­ri­gan GOLF COR­RE­SPON­DENT

The pro-am for­mat of the Dun­hill Links is not to ev­ery­one’s taste – play­ers and fans alike – but Tyrrell Hat­ton must be­lieve it is per­fect. But only if they con­tinue to let him play with Jamie Dor­nan.

Hat­ton won his maiden ti­tle in this event 12 months ago, and is an over­whelm­ing favourite to re­tain the crown af­ter tak­ing a five-shot lead into the fi­nal round on 18-un­der with a bril­liant 65 at Kings­barns yes­ter­day.

He and Dor­nan, star of Fifty Shades of Grey, have a chance of win­ning the team prize, al­though the actor will ap­pre­ci­ate the sil­ver­ware proper is rather more im­por­tant. Vic­tory would re­turn Hat­ton to the world’s top 20, fol­low­ing a mis­er­able sum­mer in which he missed five cuts in a row.

The 25-year-old has the propen­sity for los­ing his cool on course when things go against him and the more re­laxed en­vi­rons of the Dun­hill seem to suit him, par­tic­u­larly as he has de­vel­oped such a close re­la­tion­ship with Dor­nan. For his last seven Dun­hill rounds, Hat­ton is a re­mark­able

41-un­der.

“Ev­ery­one has their bat­tles, and deal­ing with frus­tra­tion is mine,” Hat­ton said. “But it hasn’t been a prob­lem this week, and Jamie can take a lot of credit for that. There was a nice mo­ment on the first day when it was re­ally cold by the time we fin­ished. A woman shouted to him, ‘Over here, Jamie, we’ve turned fifty shades of blue wait­ing for your au­to­graph.’ Things like that help to keep it fun. He helps to re­lax me, which is good be­cause ev­ery­one knows I can get a bit hot-headed.”

Play­ing along­side Hat­ton, Rory McIl­roy was im­pressed, jok­ing that Dor­nan – who comes from Holy­wood, the same North­ern Ir­ish town as McIl­roy – should be­come Tyrrell’s full­time cad­die. “What Hat­ton’s do­ing is very im­pres­sive,” McIroy added. “It’s his to lose to­mor­row.”

McIl­roy is sim­ply glad to have made the cut in his fi­nal event of the year. When he dou­ble-bo­geyed the sec­ond (his 11th) he fell be­low the cut line, but then reeled off four birdies in a row to make it by one on four-un­der af­ter a 68.

It is hard to look past Hat­ton for the £635,000 win­ning cheque. Gre­gory Bourdy is his near­est pur­suer on 13-un­der, with Paul Dunne on 11-un­der. Luke Don­ald and Ross Fisher are 10 un­der.

Front-run­ner: Tyrrell Hat­ton will be back in the world’s top 20 if he can hold on to win the tour­na­ment again

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