Tyrrell Hatton shoots 66 for famous victory
Tyrrell Hatton showed the world he is going to be the next big name in British golf with an emphatic win in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.
Playing with a maturity and panache that belied his 24 years, Hatton added a 66 on the Old Course to his record-equalling third round 62 for a four-shot victory over England’s Ross Fisher and South Africa’s Richard Sterne.
Hatton said: “It feels amazing. I’ve wanted this moment since I was a six-year-old. It’s a dream come true and to do it here at the Home of Golf is fantastic. I’m just happy I got over the line.
“It’s been a fantastic week I had my girlfriend Emily with me and my management team. And to come away with a trophy, just makes it even more special.
“I was pretty nervous going out there, but I’m really happy with how I dealt with that, and my caddie, Chris Rice, was a big influence. He just told me to try and stay patient. He’s done a fantastic job this week and this year.”
It was Hatton’s first win on the European Tour and his score of 23-under-par tied the lowest total in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, achieved by David Howell and Peter Uihlein in 2013. He wins US$800,000 and moves up to fourth in the Race to Dubai. It continues an excellent year for him in which he has had a fifth place in the Open Championship and a tenth place finish in the USPGA.
Hatton now seems likely to go on and become a significant force in British golf, but he refuses to get carried away. He said: “Time will tell. I’ll keep trying to do my thing and play as good as I can. One of my goals was to get inside the top 50 in the world. I think I was 53rd coming into this week, and I am looking forward to Monday morning, when the world rankings come out and see what position I am.”
In a near faultless round in calm conditions, Hatton had seven birdies, the only bogey coming at the tricky 17th Road Hole. But by then he was home and dry and none of the chasing pack was able to eat into his lead. Sterne also managed a 66 and Fisher a 67, but there was an inevitability to Hatton’s victory.
Hatton played with actor Jamie Dornan in the Team Championship, finishing four shots behind the winners Danny Willett and Jonathan Smart. He said: “Jamie is a really nice guy. We had a lot of fun out there over the last four days and we did pretty well. Hopefully we can team up again next year.”