Hatton's title tilt suffers setback after Calamity
England's Tyrrell Hatton discovered precisely why the 16th hole at Royal Portrush is called "Calamity" as his bid for a first major title suffered a blow in the 148th Open yesterday.
Hatton played the first 12 holes of his second round in three-under par before dropping a shot on the 14th and then making a double bogey on the 230-yard 16th in a second round of 71. The 27-year-old Ryder Cup star needed three shots to hack out of the thick rough to the right of the green and did well to limit the damage by holing from 15 feet.
"It's a shame about 16," said Hatton, who admits he has struggled for motivation since playing his part in Europe's triumph over the United States in Paris last September.
"I missed it, just leaked it a little bit on the wind. Tried my best to move the ball, and couldn't move it. I don't think it's a good hole anyway and it's maybe a bit too harsh if you can't actually move the golf ball when you're no more than seven yards right of the edge of the green.
"You can't take an unplayable (lie) because there's nowhere to go. All of it's thick. So I had no choice but to just kind of hit and hope, really. It moved maybe an inch each time and I ended up hitting it harder and harder.
"I don't think you walk off many par threes at 230 yards and think that's a good hole but for me I'm in a fairly decent position after two days. It's nice to be playing the weekend, which I haven't done too often in the Open."
• Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) claimed the Irish Girls' Close Championship at Galway Golf Club yesterday by a 3&2 margin.
The Kirkistown Castle representative faced Sara Byrne (Douglas) in the final and went three up through six holes.
An eagle from Byrne on seven was followed by a birdie on the eighth and Coulter had to refocus.