Hatton leads by 3, DeChambeau lurks, Rahm’s Legion XIII grab team lead at LIV Golf Nashville

COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn.: After a frustrating early string of nine straight pars, Tyrrell Hatton found another gear in Saturday’s second round of LIV Golf Nashville.

As a result, the Legion XIII star is 18 holes away from his first individual title since joining LIV Golf. But first, he’ll have to hold off his closest pursuers, including a backup player looking for a storybook result and several two-time major winners — including last week’s US Open champion. Hatton birdied six of the final seven holes at The Grove en route to a bogey-free 7-under 64.

His two-day total of 13 under leaves him three shots ahead of Crushers GC’s John Catlin, filling in for the injured Charles Howell III. Their captains – Bryson DeChambeau of the Crushers and Jon Rahm of Legion XIII, two of LIV Golf’s biggest stars – are another attack back, tied for third at 9 under.

With Legion XIII leading the team competition by five hits over Crusher, there’s plenty of hardware available among the top four players. “I’ll probably be a little nervous tomorrow, but I’d say that’s a good thing,” said Hatton, whose last pro title was in 2021. “Obviously if you’re nervous about something, you really care about it. “

The individual standings were full for the first half of the day on Saturday – at one point, more than 30 players were within four shots of the lead. But then Hatton went on a birdie binge that included a chip-in on the par-3 13th, followed by a 30-foot putt on the 14th.

“Around this golf course, if you hit the ball well, you’re going to have a lot of birdie opportunities,” said Hatton, who joined LIV Golf in the offseason to play for Rahm’s expansion team. “You don’t want to do too many paragraphs. It was kind of OK in the end, but I guess I wouldn’t want to string together 10 opinions tomorrow, obviously, when you’re being watched.”

Catlin shot his second consecutive 66, playing the final nine holes in a bogey-free 4 under. Having competed in multiple tournaments around the globe and with 13 professional wins, Catlin welcomes the opportunity to write her own Cinderella story this week. No reserve player has ever finished in the top five of an LIV golf tournament.

“I’ve been here before and I can honestly say I’ve won before and I can do it again,” he said. “I’m going to go out and control what I can control and we’ll see what happens.”

DeChambeau battled fatigue from the whirlwind of last Sunday’s tense US Open win at Pinehurst. On Saturday, he bogeyed two of the first three holes but avoided further trouble, finishing with four birdies in the final seven holes as he fed off the energy of the sold-out crowd.

“I’m proud of how I’ve managed my energy, even though I have almost zero right now,” DeChambeau said. “… All I want is a shot on the back nine, and that back nine is obtainable. Hopefully I can do my job tomorrow.”

Entering this week, Rahm wasn’t sure how competitive he would be after retiring in the second round of LIV Golf Houston with a foot infection that forced him to miss the US Open.

After an opening 70, he posted the lowest score of the second round, an 8-under 63 that included nine birdies. This is tied for his lowest round for par in LIV Golf.

“I needed a round like that to get close to the lead,” Rahm said. “Obviously, Tyrrell finished fantastic. A little more work tomorrow.” Hatton, Catlin and DeChambeau will play in the lead group from the first tee, with Rahm playing with Ripper GC captain Cameron Smith and Torque GC’s Carlos Ortiz — the winner two weeks ago at LIV. Golf Houston – in the previous group, which starts from the first tee at 12:05 pm CDT. Smith and Ortiz are tied for fifth at 8 under.

Counting team scores

Standings and Score Counts for Saturday’s Second Round of Team Competition at LIV Golf Nashville:

1. LEGION XIII -28 (Rahm 63, Hatton 64, Vincent 66; Rd. 2 score: -20)

2. CRUSHERS GC -23 (Catlin 66, DeChambeau 66, Lahiri 68; Rd. 2 score: -13)

3. MAJESTICKS GC -19 (Westwood 66, Poulter 67, Horsfield 68; Rd. 2 score: -12)

4. TORQUE GC -18 (Ortiz 66, Niemann 69, Pereira 69; score Rd. 2: -9)

5. IRON HEADS GC -15 (Kozuma 67, Na 67, Vincent 67; Rd. 2 score: -12)

6. CLEEKS GC -14 (Meronk 66, Bland 67, Kaymer 70; Rd. 2 score: -10)

T7. SMASH GC -13 (Kokrak 65, McDowell 68, Gooch 69; Rd. 2 score: -11)

T7. STINGER GC -13 (Burmester 66, Grace 68, Oosthuizen 70; Rd. 2 score: -9)

T7. FIREBALL GC -13 (Chacarra 70, Garcia 71, Puig 73; Rd. 2 score: +1)

10. RIPPER GC -11 (Smith 65, Leishman 69, Jones 72; Rd. 2 score: -7)

11. 4ACES GC -8 (Varner III 64, Perez 69, Reed 70; Rd. 2 score: -10)

T12. RANGEGOATS GC -6 (Wolff 67, Pieters 68, Watson 71; Rd. 2 score: -7)

T12. HYFLYERS GC -6 (Steele 67, Mickelson 70, Tringale 70; Rd. 2 score: -6)

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