09:25AM, Tuesday 23 June 2020
Marlow’s Tyrrell Hatton shot a five-under par final round but saw the joint overnight lead snatched away from him as he finished tied for third at the RBC Heritage event in South Carolina on Sunday.
The Harleyford Golf Club member looked to be in a dominant position as he slotted in four birdies on the front nine at the Hilton Head Island course.
But American Webb Simpson, who shared the lead with Hatton on Saturday evening, produced a record 22-under par score to take the title by a shot from Abraham Ancer (21-under par). Simpson’s bogey-free final round included five birdies in the final seven holes. Hatton finished on 20-under par alongside American Daniel Berger.
This was Hatton’s first event since the coronavirus hiatus but the Marlow player has shown incredible consistency in the events he’s played this year. In early March he won his first ever PGA tour title when he pulled on the red jersey after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He did this in only his second tournament back after undergoing wrist surgery at the end of 2019.
He signed off on the 2019 season with a dramatic play-off victory in the Turkish Airlines Open in December. He also finished tied for sixth in the Mexico Championships earlier this year so is clearly in a rich vein of form.
The event at the Harbour Town Golf Links course was only the PGA’s second behind-closed-doors event and it finished around three hours later than scheduled due to a storm on the South Carolina coast.
Hatton didn’t play badly in Sunday’s final round, but his rivals pipped him to the top prizes on a thrilling final day. His five-under 66 may well have been good enough on another day but both Simpson and Ancer continued to chip away with birdies on the latter holes.
At one point six players shared the lead but Hatton jumped clear in the in the early stages with four birdies in five holes. However, if that gave him a slight edge he wasn’t able to maintain it. He parred the next five holes, traded a birdie for a bogey on 12 and 13 before picking up his final shot on the 16th. Ancer didn’t miss a green in regulation in the final round and finished on 21-under, but, perhaps fittingly on Father’s Day, it was dad-of-five Simpson who was celebrating after the end after his streak of late birdies. “It was a crazy day,” the 34-year-old said afterwards.
Hatton, 28, is currently 14th on the FedEx Cup rankings and is 36th in the Race to Dubai ranks. He has four European titles to his name, the most recent being the Turkish Airlines Open in December.
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