TYRRELL Hatton announced his arrival on the world stage with a stunning top ten finish in one of the most lucrative events on the European Tour last week.
He was competing alongside superstars of the sport at the prestigious Abu Dhabi Championship.
But the 22-year-old from Marlow wasn’t put off by household names like Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy as he finished tied for tenth to claim by far his best result as a professional golfer – and his highest paycheck.
Hatton only won his Tour card last autumn after a late surge in the Challenge Tour, but has wasted no time adjusting to the exulted air.
A three-under par 69 on the opening day left him tied for fourth and he backed that up with a 71 on day two.
But while he might have been expected to fall away as competition and pressure intensified at the weekend, further rounds of 70 and 71 completed a magnificent tournament for the rising star.
His manager, chief executive of Georgia Group, John Fay, said: “ “I’ve been with him two and a half or three years now and we’re very happy with his development.
“The difference between the Challenge Tour and the European Tour is unbelievable but anyone who can go to Abu Dhabi and finish in the top ten in that field and on that course, which was brutal, is a good golfer.
“It’s a great achievement.”
Hatton had to show real resolve to finish the job though.
After three solid, sub par rounds, the wheels appeared to be coming off on Sunday with three bogeys in the first seven holes.
But birdies at the ninth, 12th and 13th steadied the ship before a birdie, birdie finish catapulted him into the top ten.
Fay said: “I was out there and watched his weekend rounds.
“On Saturday he played some fantastic golf. On Sunday he started shockingly, but the character he showed to fight back was immense “He was trying to dig himself out of the situation and he did that – for the last five holes he was playing world class golf.
“Whenever the pressure is on he seems to play well. That is the mark of winner.”
That single result elevated Hatton from 379 in the world to 308 (this time last year he was 900th), while his prize money of just over £25k is a handy launchpad for retaining his card again next season.
Fay said: “His first priority is to secure his card for next season, then he can kick on from there.
“He’s got a lot more to do and he’s focused on next week now.”
Hatton will play in the Qatar Master this weekend and then with Tiger Woods in the Desert Classic in Dubai, before heading south for the Joburg Open in South Africa.