NORTON, Mass. – Too embarrassed to be seen shopping for golf equipment, Tyrrell Hatton of England sent his caddie to the store to buy him a putter.
For now, it looks like a steal.
Hatton one-putted six consecutive greens, five of them for birdies, on his way to an 8-under 63 to share the early lead with Justin Rose in a Dell Technologies Championship with an English look on Labor Day weekend.
Along with Hatton and Rose (67) tied for the lead at 10-under 132, Tommy Fleetwood of England had a 65 and was two shots behind.
Tiger Woods was among those playing Saturday afternoon.
Hatton, already assured a spot on his first Ryder Cup team, was down on his putting last week in New Jersey when he decided to try a new putter. The equipment trucks typically leave on Wednesday, so his only option was to buy one.
He sent his caddie to a Golf Galaxy store in Paramus, New Jersey, using a video app to make the selection.
“I was too embarrassed to go into the store to buy a putter. Obviously, he made a good choice,” Hatton said.
It cost $149 before taxes, according to the receipt that Hatton tweeted after he shot 65 in the final round last week at Ridgewood. It worked even better Saturday morning at the TPC Boston.
That stretch of six one-putts included the par-5 second hole, where Hatton put his second shot into the water and saved par with a 6-foot putt.
Rose opened with a 65 on Friday, and it didn’t take long to notice the scores much lower in the second round. Hatton was 8 under through 14 holes and had to settle for pars the rest of the way. Rose finished his back nine with a pair of birdies, made two more in the early part of the front nine and managed to keep pace.
Abraham Ancer of Mexico was poised to get within one shot until he chipped across the 18th green and into a bunker, and then missed a 4-foot par putt and had to settle for a 69 that left him three shots off the lead, along with Cameron Smith of Australia (66).
It’s a big week for Ancer, who is No. 92 in the FedEx Cup and needs to move into the top 70 to advance to next week outside Philadelphia. After that, the top 30 make it to the Tour Championship for the FedEx Cup finale.
“I don’t play well, I’m not playing any golf next week,” Ancer said. “I’m not trying to put any extra pressure. I know what I need to do. And I just need to execute my game plan and it will be fine.”
Tony Finau had five birdies over his last eight holes for a 68, which might help his cause involving another cup – the Ryder Cup. U.S. captain Jim Furyk makes three of his four wild-card picks on Tuesday, and Finau entered the equation with a runner-up finish last week.
Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain didn’t hurt his chances, either. The four European selections are Wednesday. Cabrera Bello chose to play in the FedEx Cup playoff event at the TPC Boston instead of going to Denmark with one last chance to qualify. He had another 68 and was at 6 under, which is sure to get the attention of European captain Thomas Bjorn.