European Tour: Tyrrell Hatton in four-way tie for early lead at Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Hatton is joined by Adri Arnaus, Nicolas Colsaerts and Haotong Li at the top of the leaderboard; Three courses are being used for the event - watch the second round live on Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf.
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 01/10/21 5:37pm
Tyrrell Hatton produced a blistering back nine to jump into a share of the lead after the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Hatton, who won his first two European Tour titles at this event in 2016 and 2017, made an eagle and five birdies in an eight-hole stretch on his way to an eight-under 64 at Carnoustie.
The Englishman is in a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard after a low-scoring Thursday on the Scottish coast, with Nicolas Colsaerts and Adri Arnaus both carding opening-round 64s on the Old Course at St Andrews and Haotong Li posting the same total at Kingsbarns.
"It's my lowest one at St Andrews, and I've come here with no game whatsoever!" Colsaerts said. "I haven't played golf in two weeks. I did a bit of work last week for the Ryder Cup and haven't played 18 holes in two weeks."
Colsaerts recovered from a bogey at the second to roll in a 15-foot eagle at the fourth, pick up a shot at the sixth and then make three consecutive birdies from the ninth.
The Belgian holed a 35-foot eagle at the par-five 14th and made a 10-foot birdie at the last to set the clubhouse target at eight under, only for Hatton to move alongside him after a back-nine 29.
Hatton was only one under at the turn but followed back-to-back birdies from the 10th by making an eagle-three at the par-five 12th, with three birdies in the space of fourth holes taking him to eight under.
"It's always nice to start pretty good around this golf course [Carnoustie]," Hatton said. "You go to the other ones and feel like you've got slightly more of a chance than here, so we'll see what the week brings."
Arnaus also got to the same total at the Old Course after making three straight birdies from the fourth and three more in a four-hole stretch from the ninth, including a 35-footer at the 11th, before taking advantage of the par-five 14th and holing a 15-footer on his penultimate hole.
The surprise of the day came when Li reached the top of the leaderboard, having failed to make a cut in his previous 14 starts in 2021, with the world No 489 closing out a blemish-free card by birdieing each of his final three holes.
Ewen Ferguson and Romain Langasque made seven-under 65s on the Old Course to sit a shot back alongside Michael Hoey, who shot the same score at Kingsbarns, with Tommy Fleetwood two strokes back following a bogey-free 66 at Carnoustie.
Watch the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues Friday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf.