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    Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton moves five strokes clear in Dunhill Links

    Oct 8, 2017

    ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton opened up a five-shot lead heading into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Saturday.

    A bogey-free 7-under-par 65 put Hatton in a commanding position to defend the title the Englishman won by four shots last year at St. Andrews, the home of golf.

    After opening with a 68 on the Old Course on Thursday, he followed that with a 65 at Carnoustie, and matched that mark at Kingsbarns to go to 18 under.

    Gregory Bourdy of France was his closest challenger at 13 under after a 66.

    Paul Dunne of Ireland was at 11 under, with former world No. 1 Luke Donald and Ross Fisher a further shot back.

    Rory McIlroy was at 4 under overall, one more than the cut line.

    Hatton got up to 14th in the world rankings in March before enduring a frustrating summer, but that will all be forgotten should he become the first man to successfully defend this title.

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    "To win at the home of golf once is incredible, but to do it again and defend would be a dream come true," he said.

    Starting on the back nine, he birdied the 10th, 12th and 14th, hit a brilliant approach to the first, and then did well to get up and down from a bunker on the third. Another birdie on the fourth handed him a six-shot lead.

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    Bourdy made four birdies in a row from the third at Carnoustie, while Dunne, who claimed a maiden pro win last week at the British Masters, had three birdies and a bogey in a 70 at Kingsbarns.

    Fisher birdied six of his last seven holes at Kingsbarns for a 67, and Donald also produced a big finish with four birdies in seven holes.

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