Hatton heads for Hoylake after Scottish heroics

Bucks Free Press: Tyrrell Hatton Tyrrell Hatton

TYRELL Hatton will tee off at The Open Championship this week after his most impressive performance as a professional golfer.

He finished in a tie for fourth place in a star-studded Scottish Open yesterday to snatch one of the three remaining places available at Hoylake.

Hatton, who will now drive up to Liverpool tonight for two days practice before Thursday's tee off, said: "There was a lot of pressure on yesterday's round.

"It's one of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour, there was a world class field and then you've got qualifying spots at The Open.

"But I'm pretty happy with well I played. It's my rookie year so it's pretty much all new to me. It's quite easy to fall apart but I thought I dealt with the pressure quite well."

The Scottish Open is the established dress-rehearsal for The Open and traditionally attracts a fine field, and this year was no different with 23 of the world's top 60 playing including American stars Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.

But Hatton, who is from Marlow and a member at Harleyford, beat most of them as his final round 68, under intense pressure, secured the biggest cheque of his career - nearly £120,000 - and his spot at the third major of the year.

He needed to finish inside the top ten and as one of the three highest non-qualified players to book his place at Hoylake and was well-placed after opening rounds of 69 and 71.

His big move came on Saturday though, when six birdies in a five-under par score of 66 moved him up into a tie for fourth.

But with a night to sleep on it, Hatton might have been expected to fall away on the last day.

Three birdies and no drops on his front nine moved him up to ten under par though, and he held it together over the final nine holes to hold on to that score.

He said: "I didn't have a clue where I was laying for a spot in The Open. I was just focussing on trying to make some birdies and finish as high as possible.

"I'm really pleased with fourth. I think it's my best result since turning professional. I did finish second in the Joburg Open but there was a world class field [at the Scottish Open]."

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