Tyrrell Hatton surges to ‘amazing’ Dunhill success

England’s Tyrrell Hatton cruised to his first European Tour title with a commanding victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship yesterday.
Tyrrell Hatton surges to ‘amazing’ Dunhill success

Hatton, who equalled the course record at St Andrews with a flawless 62 on Saturday, carded a closing 66 to finish 23 under par, matching the tournament record set by David Howell and Peter Uihlein in 2013.

Playing partner Ross Fisher and South Africa’s Richard Sterne shared second place on 19 under, with Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren two shots further back in fourth and Scotland’s Marc Warren fifth on 16 under.

“It feels amazing,” said Hatton, who will climb from 53rd in the world rankings to a new career-high inside the top 35.

“I’ve wanted this moment since I was a six-year-old walking around Wentworth (watching the BMW PGA Championship), so it’s incredible.”

Hatton took a three-shot lead into the final round and was never in danger of being caught after firing a hat-trick of birdies from the third and picking up another on the ninth. Sterne and Fisher reduced their deficit to four shots thanks to birdies on the 11th and 10th respectively, but Sterne then saw his birdie putt from four feet on the 12th catch the edge of the hole and spin out.

Hatton had no such problem on the same hole and although Sterne did birdie the par-five 14th, Hatton did likewise to tighten his grip on the title.

Another birdie on the 15th left Hatton six shots clear and although he carded his only bogey of the weekend after finding the Road Hole bunker on the 17th, he had done enough to secure a seemingly nerveless win.

“It didn’t feel that way inside,” Hatton said. “I was pretty nervous all day. I started to feel a little bit more comfortable down 14, 15 and was just so happy I got over the line.”

Sterne carded a flawless closing 66 but was never able to get closer than four shots behind.

“I played nicely,” said Sterne, who holed a 50-yard pitch on the 17th for his final birdie of the day. “I tried my best to put some pressure on Tyrrell but he got off to a good start and kept it going.”

Warren began the week 125th on the Race to Dubai with only the top 110 retaining their playing privileges at the end of the season.

“I’m very happy, to say the least,” he said. “Obviously I knew coming in today was an important day for me in terms of the season and to go out and play like that, 67, bogey-free, was relatively stress-free as much as it could be.”

Masters champion Danny Willett, who missed the cut in the tournament proper, won the pro-am event with his caddie Jonathan Smart after Smart birdied the pair’s final hole to finish a shot ahead of Adrian Meronk and Johan Eliasch.

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