Tyrrell Hatton made a timely charge in the Race to Dubai and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship after becoming the first man to successfully defend the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He carded a flawless final round 66 to finish three shots ahead of Ross Fisher at the Old Course, St Andrews, to claim 676,132 points and take himself from 33rd to 11th place in the rankings with 1,452,782 point to his tally. Not too bad for this young talent who was playing on the Challenge Tour in 2013.
Hatton came in to the final day of the tournament with a five-shot lead, experiencing an early hiccup when he visited the Swilcan Burn on the first hole. However, a superb chip-in for par after taking a drop saw him start a golden run on the front nine, as he went on to birdie the next four holes to open up a seven-shot lead over the field. “It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Hatton, who becomes just the fourth man after Strange, Immelman and Jaidee to successfully defend a trophy for his first two wins. “It felt so much harder than last year, maybe that’s just a bit more pressure on myself but I’m so happy that I managed to defend it and what a great week again. The format helped me. I’ve just had good fun and that’s is what this tournament is about.”
Runner-up Fisher also wrote his name in to the history books at St Andrews, breaking the Old Course record with a listering 61 on the 4th round. Second behind Hatton, he moves to sixth in the Race to Dubai rankings picking up 450,752 points to improve his season-tally to 1,936,014.
Meanwhile, Victor Dubuisson’s third place helped by his 63 on the 4th round means a ump to 63rd spot in the Race to Dubai rankings. The extravagant French player is still in the need of a few more pints to enter in the top 60 en route to the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates for the season finale. Greg Bourdy also did his chances of adding his name to the same entry list by finishing in a tie for fourth and move up to #62 on the Race to Dubai season rankings still lead by Tommy Fleetwood who’s outing at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship included a course record 63 at Carnoustie. ETC/PPH