Tyrrell Hatton embraces the negatives on way up at Turkish Airlines Open

Tyrrell Hatton - Tyrrell Hatton embraces the negatives on way up at Turkish Airlines Open
Tyrrell Hatton is playing with the help of a steroid injection to deal with a troublesome wrist Credit:  Getty Images

The old adage “Beware the injured golfer” rang true at the Turkish Airlines Open on Saturday as Tyrrell Hatton surged into contention despite the effects a long-term wrist problem.

Hatton’s seven-under 65 left him in a tie for second on 15 under, three shots behind leader Matthias Schwab, who is trying to close out his first European Tour victory.​

Hatton revealed on Wednesday he has required six-monthly steroid injections to alleviate wrist pain that has troubled him since the 2017 Masters, when he slipped and collided with a metal bar.​

The Englishman has a reputation for being short of temper, but credited a more positive outlook for his strong autumn form that has produced four consecutive top-20 finishes.​

“Normally I’m quite a negative person, but in the last month or so I’ve actually felt quite confident,” Hatton said, although he still bristled at being described as happy-go-lucky.​

“No, never. I’ll be the miserable, negative person, which is standard me, but I’ll embrace it.”​

All eyes were on Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger at the start of the week, but it is his fellow Austrian Schwab who is impressing with his relentless consistency.​

Schwab eagled the par five first for a second day in succession on his way to a six-under 66 that increased his advantage at the top of the leaderboard.​

Matthias Schwab hit a six-under 66 to extend his lead at the top of the leaderboard Credit:  Getty Images

The 24-year-old has been inching closer to a maiden Tour title, finishing tied fourth at the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament last time out, but will need to hold off an impressive list of challengers. Hatton, Patrick Reed, Ross Fisher, Benjamin Hebert and Robert MacIntyre are all stacked up behind him, ready to strike on a final day that is likely to yield a barrage of birdies at the receptive Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Belek. Victory for MacIntyre would strengthen his claim to the European Tour’s rookie of the year prize, and the Scottish left-hander propelled himself up the leaderboard with an eagle-birdie-par-birdie finish to follow Friday’s 63 with a five-under 67.​

MacIntyre became the first Scot since 1879 to achieve a top-10 finish on his Open Championship debut at Royal Portrush in July, and the 23-year-old sits ninth in the Race To Dubai rankings. Only three Scots – Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie and Gary Orr – have finished in the top 10 of that season-long race since the turn of the millennium, and victory in Turkey would give MacIntyre a shot at winning the whole thing,​

“It was just one of those days where you hang on and then you just bide your time and things happen,” MacIntyre said. “I’m just going to stick to my game plan, being aggressive on approach shots and driver off almost every tee.”​

Justin Rose’s hopes of a third consecutive title appear all but over after a one-over 73 left the Englishman nine shots adrift. A double-bogey on the ninth, after a fluffed approach had found water, did the damage.