Jan 22nd, 2021
Hatton goes clear as Rory struggles
Tyrrell Hatton leads the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by five shots
Photography: Getty Images
The World Number Nine recorded an eagle - his third of the week - four birdies and a single bogey in the first 13 holes of his second round before play was suspended due to fading light just before 6 pm local time.
The Englishman, who triumphed on home soil at the BMW PGA Championship in September for his fifth European Tour title and his third Rolex Series victory, will re-start his round at 7.30 am on Saturday as he aims to hold off a chasing pack that includes four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy.
“I'm obviously in a great position at the moment. It was certainly tough out there, so I'm really happy to be five under. Holed some nice putts and there was a couple of par putts toward the end of my round, nice to hole them and keep a bit of momentum going," Hatton commented after his round.
Overnight leader, Rory McIlroy slipped back to seven under par with four holes left to play of a rollercoaster second round, to sit in a tie for second alongside Jason Scrivener, Jazz Janewattananond, and Romain Langasque, who will also return to complete his round on Saturday morning.
Two time Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner Tommy Fleetwood is amongst a group of ten players at six-under-par after a bogey-free five-under-par round of 67.
“I think yesterday, I struggled, like I walked off and sat there last night and talked to Finno and Tommo, and I think I just forced it a little bit," said Fleetwood.
“It was really windy going out there in tough conditions and I think I tried to force a few golf shots playing in the wind, trying too hard to hit a good golf shot and didn't do the things that we work on, really. So that was just something that we spoke about."