What you missed: Hatton’s win under the lights, Pepperell’s DQ and Rory’s record


What you missed: Hatton wins six man play-off under the lights, Bland among Challenge Tour graduates, Eddie Pepperell gets DQ’d for Tin Cup moment, Rory’s record, and Woods and Els name their Presidents Cup wildcards… 

Tyrrell Hatton earned his second Rolex Series win and fourth European Tour victory of his career under the floodlights on Sunday evening in Turkey, coming out on top of a six-man playoff. 

And he wasn’t the only success story for English golf at the weekend: Richard Bland, who lost his Tour card last year, finished third in the Road to Mallorca standings to grab one of 15 European Tour cards for next season – along with six other GB&I players. 

The news wasn’t as good for Eddie Pepperell though, who was disqualified during the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open for running out of golf balls. 

Elsewhere, Tiger Woods named himself as one of four USA wildcard picks for next month’s Presidents Cup, while Ernie Els opted for youth over experience with his… and Rory McIlroy just grabbed himself a spot in the record books.

Read on to find out more about what you missed.

Tyrrell Hatton wins six-man play-off under the lights at Turkish Airlines Open

Tyrrell Hatton earned his fourth European Tour win on Sunday after outlasting Matthias Schwab in a six-man playoff under the floodlights – a first for professional golf.

“I actually can’t believe that I’ve won,” said Hatton. “It’s been quite a difficult year though the last month I feel like I’ve found my game again.”

He certainly did it the hard way: Having  started the final round three strokes back, Hatton remained behind until a 72nd hole birdie got him to 20-under-par and into a play-off with French duo Benjamin Hebert and Victor Perez, American Kurt Kitayama, Austrian Matthias Schwab and South African Erik van Rooyen.

Hatton chipped in to set the tone with a birdie on his first trip back up the final hole, and his score was soon matched by both Schwab and Kitayama. Van Rooyen, Hebert and Perez were all eliminated. 

The three remaining players shared pars on their second playoff hole, and Kitayama was eliminated when Hatton and Schwab traded birdies at the next. On the fourth and final trip time of asking, Schwab looked to have the advantage but took four strokes to get down from the side of the green, and a par was enough for Hatton to win. 

Rory McIlroy just broke a record that looks impossible to catch… 

According to World Ranking twitter guru @VC606, Rory McIlroy has become the youngest player ever to spend 500 weeks inside the World’s top 10. 

At 30.5 years old, he beat Tiger Woods to the feat by four months… and that fact was not lost on McIlroy.

“The first (and maybe last) thing I’ve beaten Tiger at”, Rory wrote with an accompanying laughing face on instagram in response to the statistic. 

What’s so impressive about this record, is that none of the current young stars could ‘possibly break this record’. 

The same account then tweeted: “Just to show what an enormous (almost impossible) task would be for someone to break @McIlroyRory ‘s record…

“If you just turned 21 (e.g. J. Niemann) and somehow you just cracked the top 10 #OWGR, it would be impossible for you to break Rory’s record!”

Richard Bland among 15 Players secure their European Tour cards through Challenge Tour

Richard Bland is one of seven GB&I players heading to the European Tour next season after securing one of the 15 cards available in the Challenge Tour rankings. 

The 46 year old, who ended the Grand Finale tied 15th, is heading back to the Europe’s top tier following his third place finish in the Road to Mallorca standings.

For Bland, who lost his Tour card last year, it means another chance at capturing that elusive win: Despite 15 full seasons and 448 tournaments, the Englishman is still searching for his first European Tour victory. 

Francesco Laporta, who claimed the final event of the season, earned the top spot in the standings, and was followed by Scotland’s Calum Hill, a two-time Challenge Tour winner this season. 

After Bland, German player Sebastian Hiesel claimed fourth place, while Adrian Meronk’s fifth place in the standings ensured that he would become the first-ever Polish player to have full European Tour playing privileges. 

The next four places were occupied by England’s Jack Senior and Matthew Jordan, and Frenchmen Robin Roussel and Antoine Rousner. Ricardo Santos (POR) finished in 10th, with Northern Ireland’s Cormac Sharvin and Wales’ Oliver Farr in 11th and 12th spots. 

Following a T9 in the Grand Finale, David van Driel (NED) claimed 13th, with Scotland’s Conor Syme in 14th and Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez earning the 15th and final spot.

Eddie Pepperell DQ’d in Turkey for running out of golf balls

In the most Tin Cup moment of the year, Eddie Pepperell made a premature exit from the Turkish Airlines on Saturday after being disqualified for running out of golf balls. 

The Englishman, who was on his fourth hole of the day (the par-five 13th), was two over for his round on Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Course at the time and playing with Martin Kaymer and George Coetzee.

Kaymer said that Pepperell lost ‘four of five balls’ to the water’ before informing them he had run out of golf balls and then walked off the course.

“Eddie hit his shots to the green, then came over to tell us he had run out of balls,” said Kaymer.

“He was quick, so it was hard to keep track. He did not ask if he could borrow one from me or George. It did not look like he wanted to play. He did not putt with his putter on the third hole; he putted with a wedge. So there was a lot happening.

“I have never seen anything like that before. I only watched it on television, in ‘Tin Cup.’ This is the first time I have seen it live.”

Pepperell is yet to make any comments about what happened. 


President’s Cup picks named

Tiger Woods will become the second playing captain in Presidents Cup history at Royal Melbourne next month after choosing himself as one of four wildcard picks for the United States team.

Woods, who claimed last month’s ZOZO Championship, also named Tony Finau, Gary Woodland and Patrick Reed as his three remaining wildcards choices, leaving some notable names – such as Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth – at home.

The Team: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed.

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Ernie Els named Jason Day, Adam Hadwin and rookies Sungjae Im and Joaquin Niemann as his four wildcard picks for this year’s Presidents Cup – taking the tally of rookies on the International team up to six (out of 12 players)

By choosing Im and Niemann, Els guaranteed that he will Captain the youngest International Presidents Cup team in history – with an average age of just over 29 years old – for the biennial contest in Melbourne from the 13th – 15th December.

“I threw age out of the equation,” Els said choosing two additional rookies, who both earned their first PGA Tour titles at the start of the new season.

The Team: Marc Leishmanm, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, C.T. Pan, Haotong Li
Abraham Ancer, Louis Oosthuizen, Cameron Smith, Sungjae Im, Joaquin Niemann, Jason Day, Adam Hadwin

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