Hatton sets pace in Scottish Open

London (AFP) –


England's Tyrrell Hatton was out in front as players from 'south of the border' took up leading positions on the second day of the Scottish Open at Gullane near Edinburgh on Friday.

Hatton added a second-round score of 64 to his opening 65 to put himself on 11-under par -- a total that gave him a one-shot clubhouse lead over compatriot Eddie Pepperell, who missed from six feet on the last for a birdie to equal the course record of 62 set just hours earlier by Scotland's Connor Syme.

Lee Westwood was two shots off the pace after a 67, with former US Masters champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa on eight-under par together with first-round leader Luke List in a tournament where many players will be looking to groove their games ahead of next week's British Open at Carnoustie, some 100 miles along the east coast.

Hatton, who has previously enjoyed success in Scotland by winning back-to-back Dunhill Links Championship titles in 2016 and 2017, said: "I'm very happy with that.

"It was not quite how I wanted to play, but overall if I can play like that and score that well that's obviously really good. So I'll take a bit of confidence from that and hopefully have a good weekend," added the 26-year-old, who struck six birdies in a bogey-free round.

Pepperell finished fourth when the Scottish Open was last staged at Gullane three years ago and needs another top-10 spot this week to be in with a chance of taking one one of the three qualifying places on offer for the British Open -- the only one of golf's four majors staged outside the United States.

"I'm actually going to be commentating for BBC Five Live for a couple of days if I don't play," said Pepperell, who won his first European Tour title in Qatar earlier this season.

"Obviously I'd rather be playing but we'll just wait and see.

"The two similarities between 2015 and now is that I haven't played a practise round and stayed in Edinburgh both times. That seems to be the secret for me in Gullane, just go out and have nice meals in Edinburgh and drink a bit of wine and come up here and play for four hours.

"It seems to be working. Hopefully it works for two more days."