British Masters: Tyrrell Hatton leads by three, Lee Westwood in second

Tyrrell Hatton
Tyrrell Hatton's sole victory on the European Tour came in last October's Dunhill Links
British Masters, second-round leaderboard
-12 T Hatton (Eng); -9 A Chesters, I Poulter, L Westwood, C Hanson (all Eng), R Karlsson (Swe); -8 G Storm, L Slattery (both Eng), M Ilonen (Fin)
Selected others: -6 G McDowell (NI), S Lowry (Ire), R Ramsay (Sco); -4 R McIlroy (NI); -1 S Garcia (Spa)

England's Tyrrell Hatton leads the British Masters by three strokes at the halfway stage at Close House.

The 25-year-old, who had shared the overnight lead with South African George Coetzee, carded six birdies in a 65 to move to 12 under on Friday.

Compatriots Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Chris Hanson and Ashley Chesters are three shots behind on nine under while Rory McIlroy is eight back after a 69.

"I'm really happy with the first two days," said Hatton.

"Hopefully I can continue that and take it into the weekend."

The world number 29 posted a solitary bogey despite several spells of heavy rain in the north east.

"It's good to be back in form with a big run of events coming up with huge world ranking points," added Hatton.

"I'd like to play as well as I can and climb up the world rankings and secure (a place) in all four majors again next year."

Host Westwood in contention

Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood won the British Masters in 2007

Former world number one Westwood is hosting the event near Newcastle and is yet to drop a shot this week as he added a 65 to his opening 66.

The 44-year-old had to hire an extra field for additional parking as more than 18,000 spectators attended on Thursday.

"It was nice to stand on that 1st tee yesterday and see so many people here and the course in such great condition, and then it was nice to play so well," he said.

"I like my position going into the weekend and I guess it's nice for the host to be in contention."

Poulter, 41, also shot a 65 to move into contention for what would be his first victory since 2012, with four of his six birdies coming in succession from the 12th.

Countrymen Graeme Storm and Lee Slattery are a shot further back on eight under, with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell recovering from four-putting the 18th on Thursday to lie six under.

His compatriot McIlroy is eight shots off the lead following his one-under-par second round.

The world number six recovered from two bogeys in his opening five holes on Friday to move to four under overall.

Sweden's Robert Karlsson sits three shots off the pace after a second-round 65, with Finland's Mikko Ilonen the only other non-British player among the leaders at eight under.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia looked set to miss the cut after the Spaniard followed up his opening-day 70 with a one-under-par 69.

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