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Three-shot victory

Hatton makes history with superb Dunhill defence

Tyrrell

History-maker Tyrrell Hatton after defending his Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title (pic: SNS Group).


Tyrrell Hatton wrote his name into the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship history books after the Englishman became the first player to successfully defend the title, closing out a three-shot victory at the famous Old Course at St Andrews.

The 25-year-old, playing alongside his amateur partner, Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan, entered the final round with a five-stroke advantage and he came out on the final day with all guns blazing as he embarked on a run of four consecutive birdies from the second hole to widen the gap to seven.

Despite a concerted effort from fellow-Englishman Ross Fisher, who carded 11 birdies in a blistering 61 – breaking the course record at the famous Home of Golf – to get to 21-under-par, Hatton held on to join Ireland’s Padraig Harrington as the only other multiple winner of the unique pro-am tournament.

Victor Dubuisson of France was ten-under-par through 15 holes and – much like Fisher at one point – on course to card the first-ever 59 on the European Tour, before dropping a shot on the 16th. He eventually signed for a 63 to finish in third place on 17-under-par. His countryman Grégory Bourdy was one shot further back alongside England’s Robert Rock and Marc Warren of Scotland.

“Obviously I’m very happy,” said Hatton.

“This week was the first time I had ever defended a title or had the chance to try and do it. You know, it felt like it was a lot harder this year, well, winning this year, than it was last year. I’m so happy that I managed to get over the line.

“I didn’t see a leaderboard on the back nine until the 16th green, when I saw he (Ross Fisher) was at 21 and I was thinking how well he was going today. So you know, fair play to Fish. It was an incredible round of golf, and he certainly did push me all the way.

“I’m not a very technical person with the golf swing or things like that. I like to keep things really simple. That’s what I went back to after the US PGA, and, you know, obviously I’ve got a new caddie on the bag at the moment, my good friend, Jonathan.

“He’s done a great job since we started working together in Switzerland. I think having a friend on the bag is keeping me relaxed. I feel so much more comfortable with my game.

“I played with Jamie (Dornan) last year, and we had a good time and it was good fun. I was happy that we could play again this year. Obviously it’s a winning formula which helps me, so perhaps he should play with me every week. But no, obviously it was great fun to have him here, and we get on really well. Hopefully we can do it again next year.”

Final scores

264 T Hatton (Eng) 68 65 65 66,
267 R Fisher (Eng) 71 68 67 61,
271 V Dubuisson (Fra) 74 66 68 63,
274 M Warren (Sco) 70 71 67 66, G Bourdy (Fra) 70 67 66 71, R Rock (Eng) 71 68 69 66,
275 L Donald (Eng) 70 70 66 69, P Dunne (Irl) 67 68 70 70, O Fisher (Eng) 68 71 71 65, E Pepperell (Eng) 72 69 69 65, A Levy (Fra) 70 69 68 68,
276 S Gallacher (Sco) 72 67 70 67, B Evans (Eng) 69 68 72 67, J Lagergren (Swe) 69 67 71 69,
277 M Siem (Ger) 69 66 74 68, G McDowell (Nir) 69 71 70 67, C Syme (Sco) 72 70 69 66, H Porteous (RSA) 74 71 65 67, N Bertasio (Ita) 70 69 71 67, B Stone (RSA) 71 67 71 68, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 70 66 71 70, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 73 68 68 68, R Wattel (Fra) 70 68 70 69, D Drysdale (Sco) 69 67 72 69,
278 S Lowry (Irl) 68 75 66 69, J Morrison (Eng) 71 69 72 66, N Fasth (Swe) 73 65 71 69, N Colsaerts (Bel) 67 67 73 71, G Stal (Fra) 72 67 70 69, B Dredge (Wal) 70 70 69 69, B Ritthammer (Ger) 70 66 71 71, P Hanson (Swe) 71 72 68 67, R Gibson (Aus) 70 72 68 68, T Fleetwood (Eng) 70 63 76 69, A Rai (Eng) 70 70 71 67,
279 D Horsey (Eng) 75 70 66 68, G Havret (Fra) 70 69 69 71, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 73 70 69 67, L Canter (Eng) 72 69 71 67, D Frittelli (RSA) 70 71 70 68, M Kaymer (Ger) 71 71 67 70, R Gouveia (Por) 71 71 67 70, A Chesters (Eng) 71 69 70 69, J Wang (Kor) 69 71 72 67, G Storm (Eng) 75 69 67 68, J Luiten (Ned) 70 69 71 69,
280 J Scrivener (Aus) 72 71 69 68, J Ahlers (RSA) 71 69 70 70, M Ilonen (Fin) 74 67 67 72, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 69 70 70, G Moynihan (Irl) 70 70 72 68, R Bland (Eng) 73 65 73 69, G Coetzee (RSA) 69 73 69 69, L Johnston (Sco) 72 70 70 68, B Grace (RSA) 70 69 72 69,
281 S Gregory (Eng) 71 71 70 69, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 74 67 70 70, J Quesne (Fra) 71 69 72 69,
282 R Sterne (RSA) 72 75 65 70, U Van Den Berg (RSA) 73 68 71 70, M Wallace (Eng) 69 67 74 72, J Holmes (USA) 73 66 72 71,
284 B Hebert (Fra) 69 72 71 72, L Jensen (Den) 71 69 72 72, R McIlroy (Nir) 73 71 68 72,
285 M Giles (Aus) 73 67 70 75,
286 D Fichardt (RSA) 74 68 69 75,
287 A Michael (RSA) 73 65 74 75

 

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