The good news for Tyrrell Hatton is that the poor woman he clattered with a ba’ at Kingsbarns the other day is coming back to watch more golf this weekend.

She may have been left with a nasty gouge in her forehead but she’s clearly a tough nut to crack. Even better news for Hatton is that he’s just one shot off the lead at the halfway stage of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as his push for a third successive title gathers pace.

Compared to a wind-ravaged opening day, which was rougher than a pebble-dashed gable end, things had calmed down considerably on the east coast. The only thing that could have prompted a yellow warning from the Met Office was one or two of the celebrity swings. Wild? They could have served a valuable purpose on a medieval battlefield.

As the autumnal sun shone, this was a day to make hay. With Carnoustie’s defences lowered somewhat, Hatton’s neatly assembled six-under 66 was a significant stride in the right direction as the defending champion hurtled up into a share of third on an eight-under aggregate.

That left the Ryder Cup man lurking in the rear view mirrors of joint leaders, Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark and Italy’s Andrea Pavan, who both went on a rampaging offensive at Kingsbarns and blasted a 65 and a 63 respectively to surge to the front.

Hatton’s tidy card, meanwhile, was illuminated by a cracking eagle on the 14th where he reduced it to a drive, a 9-iron and a putt of six feet. The 26-year-old has certainly got to grips with this event.

In his first two outings in it, in 2014 and 2015, he missed the cut. In his last two appearances, he’s won the thing. “Some weeks you have it, others you don’t,” he said as he tried to put a finger on the vagaries of this fickle old game.

Bjerregaard, who won the Portugal Masters last year and is enjoying a sprightly 2018, upped the ante in his title tilt with a profitable thrust of five birdies in seven holes from the sixth.

The 27-year-old Dane arrived in Scotland on the back of three top-10s in his last four events. He was also given a bit of extra pep by watching his compatriot, Thorbjorn Olesen, beat Jordan Spieth in the Sunday singles as Europe romped to Ryder Cup glory last weekend.

“You feed off the Ryder Cup,” said Bjerregaard, whose fellow Dane Olesen also won the Dunhill Links a couple of years ago. “The atmosphere was amazing and I was definitely inspired and motivated by that.”

Pavan was certainly motivated as he got motoring at Kingsbarns and reeled off nine birdies in a round of poise and purpose. Starting on the 10th, the 29-year-old eased to the turn in three-under before moving up through the gears with a six-under inward which included four birdies in a row from the first.

“ I started off hitting it really close and just kept hitting it close as the round went on,” he said. “Luckily I kept rolling it nicely on the greens too. It was a very nice round.

Austria’s Matthias Schwab put himself into the mix with a bogey-free 67 on the Old Course as he joined Hatton in a share of third. Readers with Celtic leanings may want to skip a couple of sentences.

“I’m a Red Bull Salzburg fan and I wasn’t surprised at all that they beat Celtic,” he said with nonchalant, smiling authority.

It wasn’t quite the course record 63 he conjured at Carnoustie in this event a year ago, but Tommy Fleetwood’s 67 over the robust Angus links was, as he said, “not to be sniffed at.”

With two circuits to come of the Old Course over the weekend, Fleetwood is in a handy position to pounce on six-under even if the various cogs and pistons weren’t quite working as smoothly as they have been.

“I scored well but didn’t play that well,” said another hero of Europe’s Ryder Cup success. “I couldn’t quite get it right today. Physically and mentally, though, I feel absolutely fine and I’m ready to go.”

Tony Finau took route 66 at Carnoustie and finished on a five-under aggregate alongside Edoardo Molinari, the brother of Ryder Cup talisman Francesco, who had a 66 of his own at the Old Course.