Nobody was more surprised about Tyrrell Hatton’s dramatic Turkish Airlines Open victory yesterday than the victor himself.
“I actually can’t believe that I’ve won. It’s been quite a difficult year though the last month I feel like I’ve found my game again,” reflected Hatton who claimed his second Rolex Series title in spectacular, if unexpected style, as he prevailed from a six man play-off.
He certainly did it the hard way: a birdie on the 72nd hole handed him a closing 67 and a place in the record-equalling play-off at -20 alongside French duo Benjamin Hebert and Victor Perez, American Kurt Kitayama, Austrian Matthias Schwab and South African Erik van Rooyen.
The Englishman went into the final round three shots off the lead at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal but ended it as the last man standing under the floodlights after one of the most dramatic days of the 2019 Race to Dubai.
In fact he had to chip-in to keep his hopes alive on the first trip back up the last but a par was enough to overcome overnight leader, Austrian Mathias Schwab, at the fourth time of asking… and hand Hatton his fourth European Tour trophy.
A disappointed Schwab now has ten top tens this season but surely it’s only a matter of time before he’s celebrating his first European Tour success?
Added Hatton jubilantly: “I can’t wait to get that Masters invite through the post again. It’s a special feeling – and just a bonus that comes with doing well.”
His victory moves him into the top ten in the Race to Dubai and into the top 30 in the World Rankings from 48th.
For the record, there had only been two other six man play-offs in European Tour history with Scot Stephen McAllister winning the 1990 Vinho Verde Atlantic Open and England’s Mark Foster eventually clinching the 2003 Dunhill Championship spoils.