Unlike a day earlier, the victorious Ryder Cup rookie posted an incident-free six-under par 66 at Carnoustie to move to a share of third on eight-under and just a shot behind the leading duo of Dane Lucas Bjerregaard (65) and Italian Andrea Pavan (63).
Hatton’s effort was five strokes fewer than any one of his four Open Championship scores of three months earlier on the same County Angus course.
In very stark contrast to his efforts in golf’s oldest Major, Hatton is now 55-under par for his last 10 rounds in the Alfred Dunhill Links.
A year ago, Hatton became the first player to successfully defend the Dunhill Links and should he capture a third he would join Woods (2005 – 2007, WGC – AMEX) and Els (2002 – 2004, Heineken Classic) with the same three European Tour counting wins in succession.
And after the roller-coaster emotions on being member of the victorious European Ryder Cup team but then sending a woman to hospital after an incident at Kingsbarns Links on Thursday, Hatton is striving to stay relaxed heading now to the final two rounds on the famed Old Course at St. Andrews.
“You’ve got so much adrenaline and such an atmosphere to play in, and then this week is obviously the either end of the scale with obviously the crowds aren’t so big here,” he said.
“It’s much more relaxed style of golf. We’re playing with the amateurs, and we have a good time out there, and that’s what this week’s all about.
“Also, we got Carnoustie on a nice day today, which helps a lot. This is the toughest out of the three. Especially when it blows, so we’re all fortunate to get pretty calm conditions.”
In talking about the woman Hatton hit on Thursday, he indicated he has been in contact with the Edinburgh woman and advised she is well enough to be a spectator Saturday at St. Andrews.
Though there was even unconfirmed suggestions, and after needing stitches to her head wound, she had returned to Kingsbarns Links today.
“She’s going to be in St. Andrews tomorrow, so I’ll see her there,” he said.
“It was a tough day yesterday. I tried my best out there today and tried not to think about it too much, but obviously the positives are that she’s fine and she’s able to enjoy the golf for the rest of the week.
“But the positives are that she’s fine and is able to enjoy the golf for the rest of the week.”