TYRRELL Hatton is ahead of golfing superstars such as Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson in the first European Tour event of 2014.

In a sparkling start to the year, the Marlow golfer finished day one of the the star-studded HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi just two shots off the lead.

He fired seven birdies in a sizzling three-under par round of 69 to finish tied for eighth in a field including some of the biggest names in golf.

Hatton only won his full tour card in the autumn after a spectacular late surge in the final month of the Challenge Tour, but his 69 put him a shot clear of McIlroy, two clear of Wycombe’s Donald, who is still on the course, and four ahead of Mickelson.

The tournament has a prize fund of more than £1.6m.

For live updates, go to http://www.europeantour.com