The Englishman, who scored one and a half points as Europe were dismantled 19-9 by the United States at Whistling Straits last week, finished with an eight-under 64 at Carnoustie on Thursday.

The 29-year-old leads the way alongside Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, Spaniard Adri Arnaus and China's Haotong Li.

Hatton finished five-under-par through his final five holes en route to a back-nine score of 29.

"I didn't actually realise, until I just signed my card," he said.

"Obviously, we needed a big back nine and I am very happy the putter worked well. Hopefully that continues."

Each player plays a round at Carnoustie, The Old Course and Kingsbarns, with Sunday's final round played on the Old Course at St Andrews.

Hatton continued: "It's always nice to start pretty good around this golf course.

"You go to the other ones, and feel like you've got slightly more of a chance than here, so we'll see what the week brings."

Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, also a member of Padraig Harrington's defeated Ryder Cup side, sits two shots back in a tie for eighth following a bogey-free round of 66, while the leading Australian in joint-23rd is Maverick Antcliff, who shot a bogey-free 68 while playing alongside Hatton at Carnoustie.

Just a shot behind Antcliff comes his fellow Queenslander, the veteran Scott Hend, while Dimitrios Papadatos and Deyen Lawson both shot two-under 70s and Min Woo Lee, the Scottish Open champion, a one-under 71.