Tyrrell Hatton's trio of eagles set up Palmetto Championship final round bid

The Englishman heads into Sunday at Congaree seven shots back of the leader Chesson Hadley, but only three adrift of second-placed Harris English.

It's been an odd few weeks for Tyrrell Hatton.

Not bad odd.

Just odd odd.

On arrival at this week's Palmetto Championship at new venue Congaree GC he revealed how his recent wedding had descended into near farce when a late-arriving, comically-slow driver caused he and bride Emily to very nearly miss their own ceremony, then a rainstorm demanded that they pose for the commemorative photos taken in a lay-by.

All this off the back of a career-best finish at Augusta National, a result which he freely admitted baffled him on a course he can't get to grips, and a positive Covid test that called a halt to any improvement in his form.

In that sense, carding a third round 4-under-par 67 that didn't include even one birdie is kind of on-trend for the 29-year-old Englishman.

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It leaves him on 7-under 206 for the tournament, seven shots behind the pace-setter Chesson Hadley, but only three behind second-placed Harris English.

That pair will return early on Sunday morning to complete the 18th hole, and both are in good position to make birdie, but Hatton will be hopeful that he can mount a Sunday afternoon challenge.

He'll also be keen to further sharpen his game ahead of nest week's US Open.

Let's take a closer look at Hatton's Saturday drama, the chances of him pulling off a final round coup, and his hopes next week at Torrey Pines.

The no-birdie 4-under-par 67

His first move was backwards, with a double bogey-7 at the par-5 second.

The fun and games began at the fourth, with a 341-yard drive followed by a 246-yard approach to the green and an eagle conversion from 42-feet.

At the 15th he drove his ball into scrub, hacked out, and saw the ball disappear into the hole from 62-feet.

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The 16th was rather more straightforward: 338-yards to the fairway, then into the hole from 107-yards.

Add 14 pars and job's a good 'un.

Final round prospects

Chasing a win is not something Hatton is afraid of.

His debut win on the European Tour, the 2016 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, came from three blows back with 18 holes to play and when he successfully defended that title he did so from five strokes back.

His maiden PGA Tour title, the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational, saw him chase down a two-shot 54 hole deficit and he was three back at this stage when winning the BMW PGA Championship last year.

Hadley and English can make his job a little more difficult with birdies first thing, but the former talked a lot about nerves after his incomplete third round so there's every chance he'll be vulnerable on Sunday.

Hatton is a best price of 20/1 to pounce.

Next week at the US Open

There has been much talk of the contrast in conditions at Torrey Pines between the regular January visit for the Farmers Insurance Open and the summer stop for the national championship.

Many players might be spooked by the changes, but not Hatton: he'll be a course debutant next week.

He does, however, have good memories of the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills, where he finished tied sixth, and, in all, he's made five top 10s from 24 major championship starts.

If Torrey plays fast, which it tends to in the summer, and the sea breezes blow, Hatton is unlikely to be over-affected because he's a linksland specialist with 10 top 10 finishes by the seaside in Scotland and Ireland.

He's currently a best price of 55/1 to taste success in the third major championship of the year.

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