Hatton Realises 'Dream' With Dunhill Win
Sealing his maiden European Tour win by firing seven birdies to claim a four-shot victory
England’s Tyrrell Hatton celebrated a maiden European Tour victory and the likelihood of a first US Masters appearance next year with a comfortable four-stroke win in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. Hatton, who just turned 25, posted a final round 66 for a tournament record-equalling low of 23-under par and in relatively calm conditions on the famed Old Course.
It was Hatton’s 83rd European Tour event and he became the 15th different winner in the 16-year history of the Scottish tournament. However, in receiving the 711,073 Euros first-prize cheque, Hatton spoke of dreaming of his first pro career triumph since being taken by his father, Jeff, to the 1997 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in Surrey, southwest of London, and a 30-minute drive from the family home at Marlow.
"Ever since I was a six-year-old, when my dad took me to Wentworth, I’ve dreamt of this day,” he said. "My dad has also been my coach since I was 11 years of age, so I have to say a big thank you to him as he’s helped me so much, and he’s got an indoor golf studio back home in Marlow. Without his input it would have been impossible for me to be standing here now with this trophy.”
Hatton kick-started his season by finishing runner-up in July’s Scottish Open before then sharing fifth place a week later in his first appearance in the British Open. "My second-place result in the Scottish Open was an important week, as it not only got me into my first Open a week later but also two weeks later into the PGA Championship," he said. "That result just kick-started my good run of events. Also I was 53rd in the world coming into this week and I’ve been told, should I move to No. 35, and if I can stay inside the top-50 by the end of the year, that then means playing in my first Masters next April. So I'm very excited at that prospect as it would fantastic but more importantly I want to improve my ranking in what events I have left this season."
South Africa’s Richard Sterne (66) and England’s Ross Fisher (67) shared second place on 19-under par, while double Majorwinner Martin Kaymer, the 2010 Dunhill champion, could only manage a 69 to finish sixth at 15-under par.
There was some joy for reigning US Masters champion, Danny Willett after an indifferent fortnight either side of the Atlantic for the Englishman. Willett, who had badly missed the cut over the opening three rounds, teamed with his regular caddy and amateur partner, Jonathan Smart, to post a combined 12-under par 60 over the last day and win the pro/ amateur prize by a shot at 30-under par. Smart had caddied when Willett won at Augusta and to celebrate Willett’s win had worn his 'Augusta National' white boiler suit to greet workers at his parents' security business in Yorkshire.
"I have to thank John as he carried me all week," said Willett, a member of the Europe team that lost away to the United States in the Ryder Cup. Willett, in the absence of nearest rivals Henrik Stenson and Rory Mcilroy, remained top of the Race to Dubai money list, while Hatton has moved up from ninth to fourth place.
Tyrrell Hatton of England holds the trophy on the Swilken Bridge on the 18th hole after winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course
Alex Noren of Sweden drives off the 12th tee during the first round