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Tyrrell Hatton opens five-shot lead at Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Tyrrell Hatton, with the ink perhaps still not quite dry on his renewed contract with Ping, has taken a five-shot lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in the United Arab Emirates, the first event on the 2021 European Tour schedule.

Hatton is 12 under and leads a group of four golfers each 7 shots back. But Hatton is only through 13 holes in his second round, which was suspended due to “fading light.” The round will continue at 7:30 a.m. local time on Saturday.

Only Rory McIlroy’s opening-round 64 topped Hatton’s 65 on Thursday, but while Hatton was going low again on Friday, McIlroy was 1 over through 14 holes.

Jason Scrivener, Jazz Janewattananond and Romain Langasque join McIlroy in that second-place tie.

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship: Leaderboard

There are ten golfers at 6 under, six shots back of the lead, including Tommy Fleetwood, who has posted rounds of 71-67 so far. Also in that group is Matt Wallace and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Meanwhile, Justin Thomas is tied for 48th after two days. He opened with a 1-over 73 but got it going on Friday. He’s at 2 under through 14 holes in the second round.

Tyrrell Hatton tees off on the 12th hole during Day 2 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 22, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Hatton is the defending champion of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which announced this week that it will allow 25 percent capacity of fans at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge. That win was his first PGA Tour victory. This weekend, Hatton will be chasing his sixth European Tour win.

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Hatton takes five-shot lead in Abu Dhabi

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