Hat­ton wins Dunhill Links for 1st European Tour ti­tle

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Tyrrell Hat­ton won his first European Tour ti­tle af­ter tak­ing apart the Old Course at St. An­drews for the se­cond straight day in an im­pres­sive dis­play of front-run­ning at the Dunhill Links Cham­pi­onship on Sun­day.

The 24-year-old English­man, who had a three-shot lead overnight, fol­lowed up a course record-ty­ing, bo­gey-free 62 at the home of golf on Satur­day with a 6un­der 66 in the fi­nal round. He fin­ished on a to­tal of 23 un­der par (265).

Hat­ton won by four shots from Richard Sterne (66) and Ross Fisher (67) to earn about $800,000 - eas­ily the big­gest pay check of his ca­reer.

The win capped a strong se­cond half of 2016 for Hat­ton, who was se­cond at the Scot­tish Open, fifth at the Bri­tish Open and 10th at the US PGA Cham­pi­onship.

“It’s a dream come true, and to do it at the home of golf is fan­tas­tic,” said the 53rd-ranked Hat­ton, who had two se­cond places and two third places on his re­sume un­til fi­nally end­ing his drought.

His per­for­mances in the Scot­tish and Bri­tish Opens demon­strated his com­pe­tence on links cour­ses, and his week­end rounds at St. An­drews were clin­ics.

Hat­ton had three straight birdies at Nos. 3-5 and rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 9 to open up a six-shot ad­van­tage. More birdies came at Nos. 12, 14 and 15, mean­ing a bo­gey on the 17th - af­ter find­ing the Road Hole bunker - had lit­tle ef­fect and he could play the fa­mous 18th hole with no pres­sure.

“I was quite ner­vous for the ma­jor­ity of the round,” Hat­ton said, “but I played re­ally solid and holed some good putts, and that kept the mo­men­tum go­ing.”

Sterne chipped in for birdie at No. 17 and parred the last for a bo­gey-free 66 - and a fourth straight round in the 60s this week. Fisher, the se­cond-round leader, stiffed his ap­proach on No. 18 and tapped in for birdie to se­cure a tie for se­cond.

Joakim Lager­gren of Swe­den shot 68 for 17 un­der and a fourth-place fin­ish, which will se­cure his tour card for another sea­son.

The Dunhill Links is played over three Scot­tish links cour­ses - at St An­drews, Carnoustie and Kings­barns - across the first three days be­fore cul­mi­nat­ing in a fi­nal round over the Old Course.

It in­cor­po­rates two sep­a­rate com­pe­ti­tions: An in­di­vid­ual European Tour tour­na­ment and a team event in which pro­fes­sion­als are paired with am­a­teur golfers.

Judd Trump

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.