THERE have been many golfers down the years who have just about required counselling after coming a cropper at Carnoustie. Yesterday it was the formidable Angus links that was left traumatised as Tommy Fleetwood went on the kind of rousing charge that should have been accompanied by the William Tell Overture.

Fleetwood, back in action after taking a month off for the birth of his son, made it all look like, well, child’s play as he fashioned a superb course record nine-under 63 on day two of the Dunhill Links Championship to vault into a share of the lead with defending champion, Tyrrell Hatton, on an 11-under aggregate.

In this three-stop links test, the luck of the draw can often come into play. Those at Carnoustie yesterday certainly didn’t have it as tough as the players got it on Thursday but Fleetwood’s effort was still worthy of praise and plaudits.

A posse of players, including the Scottish trio of Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie and Alan Tait, had posted the previous low of 64 but Fleetwood burst through that barrier.

A terrific inward half of just 30 blows was illuminated by a sparkling run of five successive birdies from the 11th as the 26-year-old from Southport added another notable record to his golfing conquests.

“I hold the record at the Old Course as well as I shot 62 round there in 2014,”said Fleetwood. “I just have to get it at Kingsbarns now.”

That could take some doing, mind you. He’ll have to shoot a 59 today if he is to dip below the current record of 60.

Fleetwood, who was eight shots better off than his playing partner Rory McIlroy, put the finishing touches to a fine round with a birdie putt of 12-feet on the 18th which birled round the cup and dropped in.

“I didn’t know that putt on the last was for the course record,” added the Englishman, who is on course to win the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. “I wanted to shoot nine-under but I didn’t know the significance of it until my amateur playing partner came up and told me I’d just shot the course record.”

Poor old McIlroy. Outscored by his own dad on the outward half of his first round at the Old Course the other day, the four-time major winner was left wheezing in Fleetwood’s rampaging wake at Carnoustie. He was one of the first to dish out the back slapping for a job well done, though.

“He never put a foot wrong all day,” said McIlroy, who sits down on a level-par tally of 144 at the halfway stage. “It’s a special place to get the course record and it was great to watch.”

Having taken a step back from tournament play for a month, Fleetwood arrived here this week not quite sure how his game would shape up. There’s certainly not been any sign of rust. “I was pleasantly surprised when I got on the range on Tuesday and I hit it alright,” he added. “In round one I played okay but the big thing was that I just enjoyed being back in competition again where every shot counts. Today I played well and putted well. Sometimes those best rounds come when you don’t realise what you’re doing.”

After winning this title a year ago, Hatton certainly knows what he’s doing on this trinity of courses and he upped his bid to become the first player to successfully defend the crown with a fine 65 at Carnoustie.

A trio of gains at the sixth, seventh and eighth had him bounding along and four birdies on his last six holes, including a handy chip-in for a two on the 16th, bolstered his robust assault.

The full fury of Carnoustie had not been unleashed and Hatton expressed a sense of good fortune that he had emerged unscathed.

“It wasn’t as tough as it can be and I’m thankful for that,” conceded the 25-year-old. “On Thursday, the Old Course, especially the front nine, was really tough. I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed playing Carnoustie in a similar wind.

“You can only play what is in front of you but we were fortunate today. Hopefully I can take that into the weekend.”

Hatton and Fleetwood lead by a shot from Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, who posted a 67 at St Andrews.

Paul Dunne, the new British Masters champion and the early first round leader, sits a stroke further back on nine-under after a 68 at Carnoustie.