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

COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn.: After a frustrating morning string of nine consecutive pars, Tyrrell Hatton found another speed in Saturday’s second round at 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 will have to hold off his closest pursuers, including a reserve player looking for a storybook result and a pair of two-time major winners – including last week’s US Open champion. Hatton birdied six of his last seven holes at The Grove en route to a bogey-free 7-under 64.

His two-day total of 13 puts him three strokes 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 stroke back, tied for third at 9 under.

With Legion XIII leading the team competition by five strokes over the Crushers, there’s plenty of hardware up for grabs between the top four. “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. “

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

“If you hit the ball well on this golf course, 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 make too many pars. In the end it was pretty good, but I don’t think I’d want to put on 10 pairs in a row tomorrow, obviously when you’re being chased.’

Catlin shot his second straight 66 and went bogey-free the last nine holes – 4 under. Catlin, who has competed on multiple tours around the world and claimed 13 professional victories, welcomes the opportunity to write his 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 see what happens.”

DeChambeau battled fatigue in a whirlwind after Sunday’s thrilling US Open win at Pinehurst. He bogeyed two of his first three holes on Saturday but avoided further trouble and finished with four birdies over the final seven holes as he fed off the energy of the sellout crowd.

“I’m proud of how I’ve managed my energy, even though I’m down to almost zero right now,” DeChambeau said. “… All I want is a shot on the back nine and that back nine is reachable. I hope I can get the job done tomorrow.”

Entering this week, Rahm wasn’t sure how competitive he would be after withdrawing during 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 in the second round, an 8-under 63 that included nine birdies. This matches his lowest round compared to par at LIV Golf.

“I needed a lap like that to get close to the lead,” Rahm said. “Obviously Tyrrell finished fantastic. A little more work for tomorrow.” Hatton, Catlin and DeChambeau will play in the leader group on 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 begins on the first tee at 12:05 PM CDT. Smith and Ortiz are tied for fifth at 8 under.

Counting team results

Standings and tallies for Saturday’s second round of team competition at LIV Golf Nashville:

1. LÉGIA XIII -28 (Rahm 63, Hatton 64, Vincent 66; 2nd round 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; Round 2 score: -12)

4. TORQUE GC -18 (Ortiz 66, Niemann 69, Pereira 69; Rd. 2 score: -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; Round 2 score: -11)

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

T7. FIREBALLS GC -13 (Chacarra 70, Garcia 71, Puig 73; Round 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; Round 2 score: -7)

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

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