03:00PM, Thursday 15 October 2020
Tyrrell Hatton holding the trophy. Photo: Getty Images
Marlow’s Tyrrell Hatton claimed his third Rolex Series title at the BMW PGA Championships on Sunday, holding off the formidable challenge of Frenchman Victor Perez to earn a dream win at his home event.
The Harleyford Golf Club member, who turned 29 yesterday (Wednesday) regularly attended the Wentworth showpiece as a kid and has now etched his name alongside some of the greats of the game, courtesy of a five-under-par final round 67 to give him a four-stroke victory.
In benign playing conditions, numerous challengers staked a claim for the title early on, but Hatton – who admitted he had been more nervous ahead of the final round than he had been on his Ryder Cup debut in 2018 - was composure personified as he pulled away from the pack with three successive birdies around the turn.
He never looked back and a birdie at the final hole earned him a 19-under par total for the Championships and saw him seal his fifth European Tour title, elevating him to eighth in the Race to Dubai Rankings in the process. The victory has also seen Hatton break into the world’s top 10 for the first time.
“This was a goal of mine to win this tournament and part of me is sad I didn’t get to experience the crowds, but it’s just amazing to win this trophy,” said Hatton, who attended the tournament as a child with his father.
Following his victory, the two were able to speak via a monitor beside the 18th green.
Hatton held a three-shot overnight lead ahead of Sunday’s final round. Perez challenged him on the final day but had to be content with second while Andy Sullivan’s 65 put him in joint third with Patrick Reed.
Perez, who lost to Hatton in a play-off at last year’s Turkish Open, briefly tied for the lead when he pitched inside three feet to set up a birdie at the seventh to add to birdies at the second and an eagle at the fourth.
But Hatton, who secured his maiden PGA Tour win at the coveted Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, moved clear of the field with three consecutive birdies from the ninth, holing from 25 feet on successive greens and sending a fine approach shot on the 11th to within a couple of feet.
He got a little lucky on his final approach shot to the 18th, but the ball bounced kindly for him and he was able to finish off with another birdie.
Hatton added: “The last few holes, I didn’t know exactly where I stood. I was really nervous playing the last few, but once I fatted my second shot and we got very lucky that it didn’t go in the water, I found out that I had a three-shot lead, so that settled me down a little bit. It was nice to get up-and-down after a terrible golf shot.
“Although I didn’t know that I had a three-shot lead playing the last hole, I was pretty nervous there, and the second shot that we’ve hit into the last is probably the worst shot in the history of the tournament for the champion.
So it is what it is. I’m kind of glad that I followed it up with a nice up-and-down. My short game has been really good all week, and just a nice way to sign off.”
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