Tue, Oct 11, 2016 - Page 16 News List

European Tour: Hatton takes apart Old Course to win his first tour title

AP, ST ANDREWS, Scotland

Tyrrell Hatton on Sunday 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 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

The 24-year-old Englishman, who had a three-shot overnight lead, followed up a course record-tying, bogey-free 62 on Saturday with a six-under 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 US$800,000 — easily the biggest paycheck of his career.

The victory capped a strong second half of the year for Hatton, who was second at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, fifth at The Open and 10th at the 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 Open and The Open demonstrated his competence on links courses, and his weekend rounds at St Andrews were clinics.

Hatton had three straight birdies from holes No. 3 to No. 5 and rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 9 to open up a six-shot advantage.

More birdies came at the 12th, 14th and 15th holes, 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, but I played really solid and holed some good putts, and that kept the momentum going,” Hatton said.

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 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 is to secure his tour card for another season.

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