Hatton carded eight birdies in a flawless second round of 63 at TPC Boston to join Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose on 10 under par, a shot behind Players Championship winner Webb Simpson, who holed from 70 feet for an eagle on the 18th in his 63.
European number one Tommy Fleetwood is three shots off the pace following a 65, with Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello part of a nine-way tie for seventh on six under as he tries to enhance his case for a Ryder Cup wild card.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are both seven shots off the pace on four under after rounds of 66 and 67 respectively.
Frustrated by poor putting during last week's opening FedEx Cup play-off event in New Jersey, Hatton sent his caddie to a Golf Galaxy store to buy a new putter, using a video app to make the selection.
"I was too embarrassed to go into the store to buy a putter. Obviously, he made a good choice," said Hatton, who posted a picture of the receipt on Twitter which showed that the club cost him USD149 (£115) before taxes.
That proved to be money well spent as Hatton carded a closing 65 in New Jersey and six days later the same club helped Hatton one-putt six holes in succession, including a par save on the par-five second after hitting his second shot into the water.
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