Notable: Thompson shot 64 in the first and third rounds and went on to beat In Gee Chun by six shots at 20-under par.
Hatton did his work before that stretch, running off three straight birdies to get within one of the lead. "To be out front and be in control and with the way I feel about the game, the way I've been swinging, I'm looking forward to it".
"It was good to be back into it last week - Riviera is one of my favorite venues and comfortable place for me to start", Scott said. But he went long on the 17th and was perplexed by the Bermuda grass that he rarely sees. He made bogey and eventually lost in a playoff. "That's what I try and do every week", Hatton said.
However, if Hatton were to finish runner-up he would earn enough, and some $US 700,000, to be afforded "Affiliate" membership and thus be presented with a fuller 2017 PGA Tour schedule.
Martin Kaymer chipped in for birdie at the 17th then birdied the last to move within one stroke of the lead after Thursday's opening round of the Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Springs Gardens, Florida.
Wesley Bryan and Rickie Fowler have combined for three PGA Tour victories in their careers, and Fowler has all of them.
Among other notables who began the tournament Thursday: Adam Scott of Australia, defending champion and ranked No. 7 in the world; Danny Willett of England, 2016 Masters champion; Justin Thomas of the United States, victor of back-to-back events in Hawaii in January; and Sergio Garcia of Spain, victor of the Dubai Desert Classic three weeks ago.
Convicted church shooter Roof wants new federal trial
Roof is also seeking a new federal trial, saying prosecutors didn't have jurisdiction to bring their case against him. Defense attorneys argued there was no evidence to suggest Roof was going to continue his attack at another church.
Hatton is competing this week on an invitation and in his first event of seven tournaments he will contest in the USA and Mexico up to an including the May 11th commencing Players Championship.
Leader Fowler won the European Tour's Abu Dhabi Championship in January past year, but has not triumphed on the PGA Tour since 2015, when he clinched his second and third career victories.
Emiliano Grillo and Sean O'Hair lead a group tied for third at seven under after both shot 65s on Saturday.
"I definitely need to put myself in this position more often, which is just going to lead to me winning more often", Fowler said.
The South Australian was T24 heading to Saturday after scores of 71-66 but a 77-78 finish dropped him to the tail of the field.
"One swing that stands out to me was the drive on No. 6", he said.
"So from there on out, I felt like it kind of eased me a little bit and I was able to start swinging a bit better and drove it well from there on in, other than 10".