Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Hatton holds nerve in ‘surreal’ six-way Turkish Open play-off


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ANTALYA, Turkey: England’s Tyrrell Hatton held his nerve to emerge triumphant after a rare six-man playoff in a gripping, floodlit conclusion to the Turkish Open on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

Hatton parred the fourth extra sudden-death hole to deny Austria’s Matthias Schwab his first European Tour title in the most agonizing fashion.

That pair were tied on 20-under par at the end of the four days along with South African Erik van Rooyen, French duo Benjamin Hebert and Victor Perez, and American Kurt Kitayama.

Tyrrell Hatton AFP FILE PHOTO

Hebert, Perez and Van Rooyen fell by the wayside after the first play-off run up the 18th, failing to match their three play-off rivals’ birdie fours.

Hatton, Schwab and Kitayama all parred the next attempt to find an outright winner, but Kitayama’s par at the third play-off hole saw him head back to the clubhouse, leaving Hatton and Schwab to hop in their buggies and head back down to the 18th tee.

For the last time, as it turned out with Hatton making par to Schwab’s bogey to deny the 24-year-old Austrian his first ever title having led the tournament since Thursday’s first round.

This was Hatton’s fourth title and it came with a handsome (£1.56 million ($1.992 million, 1.808 million euros) cheque.

“It’s so surreal,” he said. “I can’t actually believe that I won.

“It’s been quite a difficult year in terms of things happening off the course, but in the last month I feel like I’ve really found my game again.”

Hatton had begun the final round four shots off the lead, but ended the last man standing in the Turkish twilight.

He had muscled his way into the play-off with a closing birdie, and had to chip in to keep his title hopes alive after the first trip back up the last.

This was the first six-man play-off on the European Tour since the 2003 Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Schwab, who had led by three strokes overnight, is still waiting for a maiden European Tour title after posting his 10th top-10 finish of the season.

In-form Scot Robert MacIntyre and India’s Shubhankar Sharma finished two shots outside the playoff on 18-under.




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