11:30AM, Thursday 28 January 2021
Marlow’s Tyrrell Hatton managed to overturn a lead held by compatriot Rory McIlroy to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by four shots on Sunday.
The Harleyford Golf Club member produced a sensational, bogey-free, final round six under par to leapfrog Northern Ireland’s McIlroy and win on 18 under par.
McIlroy had to settle for third spot after Australia’s Jason Scrivener shot a 66 on the final day, going seven-under for the back nine, to finish second on 14 under.
Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Paisley and Matt Wallace ended the championship tied for sixth on 10 under par.
“It’s surreal to be honest. Even knocking the putt in on 18 doesn’t seem like I’ve won the tournament but it’s amazing,” said Hatton, 29.
“I’ve always loved starting my season here in Abu Dhabi and to now add my name on that trophy with so many great champions before me is a huge honour.”
Hatton began to pull clear with an excellent birdie putt on the 10th and, as Mcllroy’s charge faltered, Hatton moved beyond reach with two more birdies on the back nine.
The Abu Dhabi Championship is the first event of the year to offer Race to Dubai and qualifying points since the COVID-19 pandemic halted proceedings in March. The four European players who earn the most Race to Dubai points, and the five who collect the most world ranking points will qualifying for Europe’s 2021 Ryder Cup team.
The victory backs up a consistent 2020 for Hatton which saw him win his home event, the BMW PGA Championships at Wentworth and his first PGA tour title, the coveted Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.
He did, however, struggle to replicate that consistency in the year’s four majors, and he'll be looking to improve on that in 2021 as he looks to cement selection for the Ryder Cup.
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