Tyrrell Hatton is in the mix for a third straight Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title as he trails joint-leaders Lucas Bjerregaard and Andrea Pavan by a single shot at the halfway stage.
Ryder Cup star Hatton – fresh from helping Europe defeat the United States at Le Golf National – has targeted another triumph in Scotland this week, though his bid for glory got off to a rocky start at the Kingbarns course with a 70 on Thursday.
However, the Englishman spoke of his hope that Carnoustie would be kinder to him on Friday, and that proved to be the case as he signed for a 66 in hi second round.
Hatton’s six-under score moved him up to eight under overall, as he carded four birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free effort.
That was not enough for a share of the lead, though, as Bjerregaard and Pavan each excelled at Kingbarns, the latter shooting the joint-lowest round of the week, managing nine birdies in his 63.
After 36 holes:
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Marcus Fraser, who was in a share for the lead after the opening round, and Matthias Schwab sit alongside Hatton, but Matt Wallace fell down the leaderboard after only managing a 71 at Kingbarns.
Hatton is not the only Ryder Cup hero in the mix, with Tommy Fleetwood in a tie for eighth after an eagle at the 12th prompted a late charge from the Englishman.
Meanwhile, American duo Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka are a little further back at five under and two under respectively.