European Tour

Hatton and McIlroy ready for Abu Dhabi return

Tournament Preview

Tyrrell Hatton returns to defend his title at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, joined by four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy who also begins his 2022 DP World Tour campaign at the opening Rolex Series event of the season.

Hatton claimed a record fourth Rolex Series title last year in Abu Dhabi, with a four-stroke victory, but will defend on a different course as the stunning Yas Links hosts the tournament for the first time. The Englishman will nevertheless be in confident mood as he targets a fourth successive winning season on the DP World Tour.

McIlroy, meanwhile, has come close to victory in Abu Dhabi on multiple occasions and boasts four victories in neighbouring Dubai, so the Northern Irishman will be hopeful of challenging for the title come Sunday.

His Ryder Cup team-mate Shane Lowry finished 2021 strongly, with a top five at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and a top ten at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, so the Irishman is excited to get going again at an event of which he counts himself a former champion.

Player Quotes

Tyrrell Hatton: “It is strange, normally going back to a place where you’re defending you have great memories from the year before but the fact that it’s a new venue in many respects doesn’t feel like defending, and this week is going to be a new challenge for everyone. No one has played it before.

“So you don’t know how the scoring is going to be and things like that. It’s going to be a challenge. But I’ll try my best and we’ll see what happens.

“I’ve tried to treat every event the same, and not get too work up in my own mind. Obviously I kind of do that enough on the golf course. Going into it, I just need to try and treat everything the same and that’s what I’ve done throughout my career.

“This week is a new course for everyone, so it’s hard to kind of know what the rough winning score generally is. I know we’ve got a lot of wind forecast for Friday and that’s going to obviously be a challenging day for everyone. But we’ll go out there. We’ll give it our best and see what happens.”

Rory McIlroy: “(My game) feels good. I think there’s always excitement and anticipation about a new year coming around and wanting to get off to a good start.

“I’ve been playing well in practise. I’ve been practising well. I’ve done some good work over the really sort off-season that we had. But yeah, it feels good. It’s nice to come out here and have these run of events be the first events of the year. It’s perfect weather.

“It might be a little windy for the week but you can get some good practise in and you still want to do really well in the tournament but it’s a bit like, you know, just to see where your game is and see what you need to work on going into obviously the meat of the season in a couple months’ time.

“I definitely feel like I turned a corner after The Ryder Cup. I think anyone that was paying attention saw I played better those few events did I play after The Ryder Cup and it’s just trying to continue on what I’ve been working on since then.

“I think trying to eliminate the big miss off the tee, those destructive shots where you make doubles from, reign that in a little bit and getting more effective with the scoring clubs. If I do drive the ball well I give myself so many opportunities. It’s about hitting new shots that maybe go to 15 or 20 feet or inside ten feet and all of a sudden you start to hole some and get a bit of confidence there.

“There’s not much I need to work on but there’s a couple of key aspects, and I think if I can get them down early in the year, I could be in for a good season.”

Shane Lowry: “It’s obviously along the coast here, and it’s going to be quite windy, links-style, but it’s fairly tricky around the greens, and so it’s going to require a lot of good iron play. And decent with the short game if you miss the greens.

“I’m confident with my game and going into it I’d be really, really bullish about this week. But I’ve had two months without tournament, and I’m always a bit anxious on a week like this about how I’m going to be playing going into it. It’s a course I feel like would suit me.

“I won the tournament at Abu Dhabi Golf Club but I haven’t actually had much more success. I’ve missed a lot of cuts there.

“That’s your typical parkland with nice pristine fairways and greens and thick rough, whereas here is kind of a bit more linksy style. The course here is in incredible condition, probably one of the best-condition golf courses you’ll see fairways and greens and around the greens.”

(Text: Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship)


PGA Tour: Year-end performance review

The stars of the PGA Tour around Rory McIlroy are asked performance reviews – and still have plenty of room for improvement for the upcoming year.

As the year draws to a close, it’s time for the annual performance reviews. This is also the case on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, where the stars like Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Co. are called into office for the year-end performance reviews.

PGA Tour: year-end performance reviews

Actor John C. McGinley, known as Dr. Perry Cox from the hospital series “Scrubs”, sits in front of them and sums up the performance of the professionals in the past year with many allusions. Rory McIlroy, for example, looks back on two wins in 2021 and considers himself his harshest critic, “but that could all change.”

Jordan Spieth has to face the interview without his caddie Michael and is “very nervous” about it, and Justin Thomas has to answer for his beer action at the Ryder Cup. Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, whose height and emotional nature are always a topic, Henrik Stenson, Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa also have to make an appearance. The latter is “by any estimate, perfect” but that’s where the danger lies, the interviewer said.

McGinley, who plays management consultant Bob Slydell in the film “Office Space,” analyzes the stars and their performances. In the process, it also becomes clear that many stars have no plan B up their sleeves in case their golfing career should come to an end overnight. Finally, the interviewer himself is taken for a ride.

Watch the funny sketch here:

PGA Tour

Hatton excited for return of home fans to Wentworth

Tournament Preview

Tyrrell Hatton will tee it up alongside European Ryder Cup Captain Pádraig Harrington as the Englishman defends his BMW PGA Championship at the third Rolex Series event of the 2021 Race to Dubai.

The 30-year-old will no doubt receive a hero’s welcome this week at the prestigious Wentworth Club, where fans will return in their droves after last year’s event was played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He will be one of a popular trio teeing it up on Thursday afternoon, joined by three-time Major winning Irishman Harrington and Norwegian Viktor Hovland, who will make his Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits.

Another player hoping to be in Wisconsin in two weeks’ time, on the opposing side, is American Billy Horschel as the former FedEx Cup Champion plays the BMW PGA Championship for a second time.

Player Quotes

Tyrrell Hatton: “It kind of feels surreal being back and being defending champion here. Firstly, it’s amazing to see the stands back and all the players this week, obviously looking forward to welcoming fans back and I’m sure they will create a great atmosphere for us to play in this week. The course is in great shape and yeah, it’s just nice to be back here.

“I guess I’ve been lucky to play well during these big events. I certainly don’t try and change my routine or anything like that. They have fallen on good weeks for me and obviously I’m very thankful for that.

“It’s obviously good memories coming back here. To be honest I only live sort of 25, 35 minutes away anyway. Been lucky enough to play here numerous times when I’ve been back here in the UK to the point where it almost feels a bit like a second home course.

“I feel pretty comfortable out there, and hopefully I can have a good week this week. I know my form’s not been that great for the last sort of three or four months maybe. But hopefully I can find something this week that if I make the Ryder Cup team, certainly hopefully I can help the team out.”
Pádraig Harrington: “It’s an interesting week. There’s obviously a number of players who are 100 per cent qualified (for the European Ryder Cup team) at this stage, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland, so they are all in 100 per cent, with a few more players that are virtually there.

“I’m told Tyrrell Hatton is not 100 per cent, if he’s not in on Sunday, so many things must have happened that it would be something strange. So, he’s virtually there and Matt Fitzpatrick is virtually there and Lee (Westwood) is right up there as well.

“But there are a number of players who can push their way into the team and a lot of points to play for this week. We wanted a bit of drama at the end and a bit of excitement, so yeah, it’s going to be an interesting week.”
Billy Horschel: “As I said (last time I played here) two years ago, I grew up watching this event on TV. It was the first week we were out of school and European Tour comes on early, so I was up early watching it and absolutely loved what I saw on TV from the course to the crowds and just the history of the event.

“I’ve always wanted to get over here and I was planning on getting over earlier than 2019, but it just didn’t happen and when I came here in 2019, it was everything it lived up to be and more. It was just a blast. I’m looking forward to another great week.

“Knowing no American was won the Race to Dubai, it would be cool to do that. Also being a FedEx Cup Champion, I would love to be able to do that. I have to play well here this week and play well in two weeks, three weeks when I play Dunhill and at the end of the year at the DP World.”

Press Release by European Tour Communications

European Tour

Hatton chasing desert double in Dubai

Tournament Preview

Tyrrell Hatton arrives at this week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic with a spring in his step as the Englishman targets back-to-back victories in the Middle East, following his triumph last week in Abu Dhabi.

The 29-year-old climbed to a career-high fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking courtesy of his four-stroke win, for his third title in just under a year on both the European Tour and PGA Tour.

Tyrrell Hatton had this to say following his Abu Dhabi win: “The win last week still feels a little bit surreal, alongside with where we’ve moved up to in the World Rankings. It doesn’t feel like it was me who won the tournament. Looking forward to this week. It’s nice to be back here in Dubai, I missed the event last year because I was still recovering from wrist surgery. I’ve had some good finishes in the past and I’m hoping I can have another good week this week. I played the Pro-Am, the game still felt pretty good.  

“I wouldn’t say I’m uncomfortable with the position I’m in, I just don’t see myself as anything different. It’s not something that I really worry about. I’m just trying to play good golf and the World Rankings take care of themselves if you’re able to do that. Fortunately for me, the last 14 months, I’ve been on a really good run and I’m hoping that continues.”

Hatton has a strong record at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, including a pair of top three finishes and another top ten, so he is feeling confident of a title challenge in the second event of the 2021 Race to Dubai.

The man just ahead of Hatton in the world rankings, World Number Four Collin Morikawa, makes his debut at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic but enjoyed his last visit to the Emirate – clinching a top ten at last year’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

Ryder Cup stars Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia, meanwhile, make their first appearances of the European Tour campaign as they target crucial qualification points with a view to making it onto Padraig Harrington’s European side for the September showpiece at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.

(Text: European Tour Communications)

European Tour

Hatton storms into five shot lead in Abu Dhabi

Round Two Report

Tyrrell Hatton has a fourth Rolex Series victory in his sights after opening up a commanding five shot lead on day two of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The World Number Nine recorded an eagle – his third of the week – four birdies and a single bogey in the first 13 holes of his second round before play was suspended due to fading light just before 6pm local time.

Tyrrell Hatton: “I’m obviously in a great position at the moment. It was certainly tough out there, so I’m really happy to be five under. Holed some nice putts and there was a couple par putts toward the end of my round, nice to hole them and keep a bit of momentum going.”

The Englishman, who triumphed on home soil at the BMW PGA Championship in September for his fifth European Tour title and his third Rolex Series victory, will re-start his round at 7.30 am on Saturday as he aims to hold off a chasing pack that includes four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy.

The overnight leader slipped back to seven under par with four holes left to play of a rollercoaster second round, to sit in a tie for second alongside Jason Scrivener, Jazz Janewattananond, and Romain Langasque, who will also return to complete the round on Saturday morning.

Jason Scrivener: “It was hard work this afternoon. Had to hole a few nice par putts to keep the round going but happy with it. Put in a lot of work over the off-season and it’s nice to see it pay off this early, and yeah we look forward to the weekend.”

Two time Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner Tommy Fleetwood is amongst a group of ten players at six under par after a bogey-free five under par round of 67.

Tommy Fleetwood: “I think yesterday, I struggled, like I walked off and sat there last night and talked to Finno and Tommo, and I think I just forced it a little bit.

“It was really windy going out there in tough conditions and I think I tried to force a few golf shots playing in the wind, trying too hard to hit good golf shot and didn’t do the things that we work on, really. So that was just something that we spoke about.”

(Text: European Tour Press Release)

Top Tours

European Tour: Major surge in viewing figures for Rolex Series events

The European Tour’s consecutive autumn Rolex Series events recorded a significant increase in viewing figures and engagement, continuing the recent surge in consumption of live golf in 2020.  

Sky Sports, the European Tour’s UK broadcast partner, reported the highest recorded viewing figures for European Tour events since data collection began, with the tournament average figures for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and last week’s BMW PGA Championship up 81 per cent compared to 2019.   

Englishman Aaron Rai defeated Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off at The Renaissance Club to win his first Rolex Series title at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and a week later Tyrrell Hatton claimed his third Rolex Series victory, finishing four shots clear of Frenchman Victor Perez at Wentworth Club.  

Both tournaments were played without spectators as the European Tour continues to operate a tournament bubble as part of the Tour’s health strategy based on UK government guidelines.

Instead, fans have been turning to their TVs and digital devices to stay in touch with the European Tour’s events, with the back-to-back Rolex Series events providing a premium viewer experience through enhanced broadcast and digital coverage.

Innovations included the introduction of TopTracer4K, an overall increase in the use of TopTracer to a total of nine tees, alongside the popular TopTracer fairway, enhanced augmented graphics, integrated aerial coverage from drones and the plane cam, shot by shot live statistics and enhanced audio from players and caddies. Viewers also continued to be brought closer to the action through the Sky Cart, in-round interviews and tournament winners celebrating their victories with their family via greenside video calls.

Live Golf is booming

Furthermore, highlights of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and BMW PGA Championship also proved popular on terrestrial television in the UK, with peak figures of more than 750,000 on the BBC.

In addition to bumper viewing figures, the fortnight of Rolex Series events also recorded the 2020 season’s highest social media impressions, collectively exceeding the totals from their respective 2019 editions by five per cent. 

The success of the two Rolex Series events further demonstrated the sustained boom in demand for live golf since the resumption of the 2020 European Tour season, with viewing figures for the six-tournament UK Swing in July and August 64 per cent higher than the Sky Sports 2019 average for European Tour events. 

Rufus Hack, the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of European Tour Productions, said: “It has undoubtedly been a significant operational accomplishment to stage these events in the current circumstances and we have made a substantial investment in our health strategy to create the safest possible environment to continue providing live golf. We are therefore delighted with the response from fans on our broadcast and digital platforms, both across the two Rolex Series events which have created a real festival fortnight of golf, but also since our resumption in July. 

“We all badly missed live golf when it was suspended in April and May and these figures certainly underline the demand that exists to watch and enjoy live coverage of our sport.  Although we dearly miss fans being able to attend our events in person, through the latest innovations and with the support of our key broadcasters and partners, we are able to offer the most insightful viewer experience possible.”

Jason Wessely, Sky Sports Director of Golf said: “We’re delighted to see the continued interest in Sky Sports Golf coverage and it’s fantastic to see how many people enjoyed the two recent Rolex Series events. 

“Our team continues to work hard in testing times to bring the best golf coverage to Sky Sports subscribers and we look forward to bringing our customers plenty more world class golf in the coming weeks.”

Following the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA won by Lee Westwood in January, the Rolex Series concludes with the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates from December 10-13. 

Alongside broadcast and digital innovations, the European Tour’s 2020 season will also continue to be underpinned by its #GolfforGood initiative, which has been raising money for charities and rewarding the true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, David Howell’s hole-in-one at the BMW PGA Championship secured a donation of £71,675 for the tournament’s official charity, the Alzheimer’s Society, from tournament title sponsor BMW. That took the overall amount raised by #GolfforGood so far to £902,091. 

(Text: European Tour)

Team UK

PGA Tour: Last Week’s Winner Tyrell Hatton Speaks With The Media Prior to Making Fourth Start at The Players Championship

PGA Tour professional and last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Tyrrell Hatton speaks with the media before the 2020 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

PGA Tour: Tyrell Hatton recaps maiden tour victory celebration and previews The Players Championship

JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome Tyrrell Hatton into the interview room. He is making his fourth career start at THE PLAYERS Championship, and he’s coming off his first PGA TOUR victory last week at Arnold Palmer Invitational. Tyrrell, first of all, if we can get some comments on being back here at PLAYERS.

TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, it’s obviously good to be back. Unfortunately it’s a tournament that I haven’t done too well at in the past, but I’m hoping that changes this week. Obviously nice week last week and a few days to recover before we get going tomorrow.

JOHN BUSH: Talk a little bit about getting the win last week, extremely tough conditions there at Bay Hill. Just talk about finally stepping into the winner’s circle on the TOUR.

TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, obviously extremely tough week. You know what they say about the rough, that’s where the four-leaf clovers are. So I was in there a lot and it was kind to me.

JOHN BUSH: Let’s go right into questions.

Q. You said that you weren’t sure you would be right until Wednesday with the celebrating that was planned. Was it all that you had hoped for, and what did you do exactly?
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, I’m still feeling — I’m still quite tired, to be honest. But I was cuddling the toilet by 5:00 in the morning, so it was a good night.

Q. And then just real quickly, I don’t know how I can follow that, but so obviously that was extremely difficult golf. This place is known for being pretty difficult golf. What do you think a 12-handicapper would shoot in tournament conditions on this course?
TYRELL HATTON: 12-handicapper. I don’t think that they — they wouldn’t break 90. I think they would probably — I would like to think they might break 100, but if the crowds are out there, there’s a different type of pressure that they wouldn’t normally be used to, so it would be a long day.

Q. What was the celebration like on Sunday night? Who was there? Can you say how many glasses of red you had? But also probably more importantly, what’s been the reception since your victory? What’s the text messages and all that sort of stuff you received?
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, I’ve had a lot of messages, which has been really nice. The guys obviously out on TOUR, everyone’s kind of stopped and said congratulations, which is nice. Sunday night celebration, there was a lot of red wine and then unfortunately I think the finisher was the drinking the vodka and tequila out of the bottle, which never kind of ends well. And, yeah, I fell victim of that, definitely.

Q. Can you describe your emotions coming down the stretch last week?
TYRELL HATTON: Just obviously a little bit nervous, like anyone would be, but I was just trying to do the best I could, try and — the only bit I can control is obviously myself and try to not kind of make any mistakes. Although I was trying my best down 16 to make a few of those. No, just trying to keep calm. Obviously I’ve won in Europe before, so obviously I know I can get over the line and thankfully it just kind of worked out for me last week and it was my time.

Q. Are there any text messages or congratulatory things that particularly meant something for you that you can share with us?
TYRELL HATTON: Honestly, I’ve still got around a hundred unopened WhatsApp messages. The reception has been incredible, so it’s just — I just really appreciate the amount of people that have kind of messaged me to say well done, and I know for like my family and stuff, it was quite nail-biting to watch, it was difficult to watch, but yeah, I don’t know.

Q. Has the Ryder Cup captain been in touch, and is it too early to know how your schedule will alter because of this victory?
TYRELL HATTON: Well, like I say, I’ve still got a hundred WhatsApp messages unopened, so I haven’t — I don’t know exactly like who has messaged in that sense. But my schedule at the moment isn’t, hasn’t changed, that’s something that me and my manager, Danny, we are yet to kind of sit down and talk about, but obviously I would like to be on the Ryder Cup team in September and I’ve had a good start to the points race again, which is nice, and hopefully I can kind of continue pushing on this year and make that team.

Q. Can you please specify the surgery that you had and why you needed it, as well as why you think your body responded so well and so quickly to it?
TYRELL HATTON: Well it was keyhole surgery in my right wrist, and the initial injury was back in 2017 when I fell over at the Masters during the par-3 tournament. It was canceled due to a storm that came through. I just slipped on the pine straw, and over time the wrist just got progressively worse with a build-up of kind of scar tissue and my range of movement was nonexistent and I just had basically a lot of pain kind of coming in to try and make contact with the golf ball, especially with the wedges because you naturally come into the ground a little bit steeper so there was more sort of, it was anything in that kind of movement that was uncomfortable. I had had three steroid injections in 18 months. They all lasted sort of pain-free between four and five-and-a-half months. But obviously that’s not kind of sustainable to just keep having injections. So we decided that the time was to properly fix it would be to have surgery.

The surgery obviously went well but the recovery time was much longer than we had all hoped for. I mean, initially we thought it would be four weeks and I would be back kind of hitting balls again. I was hoping to start my season in mid January, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and I wasn’t even hitting chip shots by then. So obviously these kind of things you can’t rush, and Mexico was a great place for me to start my season because I was guaranteed a full tournament week. There’s no pressure, no cut, you just kind of play and see how the body feels and it was absolutely fine. I had no issues, which is nice, because the first event back you’re not quite sure how it could go.

Q. You mentioned Sunday at Bay Hill that you were pretty nervous over that final putt, that your putter was shaking little bit. And I’m wondering, I know it’s only been a few days, but what you have learned, what your takeaway has been, not only for your game but about yourself, given that tough test on the back nine Sunday that you’ll be bringing to THE PLAYERS this week?
TYRELL HATTON: Well I think throughout the whole week at Bay Hill I managed myself pretty well, which is always one of the hardest things for me. So that was obviously something that I would like to continue, and obviously I’m human so I’m going to make mistakes along the way, and yeah, there’s probably going to be weeks where I’ll have some blowups but hopefully that’s kind of few and far between. So, yeah, hopefully I can kind of stay cool, and I’ve got my dad out with me this week, so to have him there to kind of get back on point with my swing, because playing in those kind of conditions where you’re constantly trying to flight the ball and your weight’s in a different place than it normally would be, it can kind of knock your swing out. So it’s good to have my dad here, and hopefully we can have another good week here.

Q. This may be because I’m American, but I’ve never seen your name spelled the way it is in the first name with two R’s, and I was wondering if there’s a story behind that at all and my apologies if you’ve been asked this three thousand times before.
TYRELL HATTON: Well, it’s my granddad’s middle name is kind of where it comes from. My parents that play golf, they like the liked the film Caddyshack and obviously the guy was, I think was it Ty, I think, so that’s how they kind of got my name. But in terms of the spelling, over here it would be normally Ty-rell, wouldn’t it? But I ain’t no Ty-rell, so yeah.

Q. Why do you feel like you were able to learn from your past trips here to THE PLAYERS Championship that you feel like you can build on for this week?
TYRELL HATTON: Well, this week’s not normally been a good tournament for me. I actually had, I mean last year it was kind of typical me, where I was one shot away from like one shot outside the cut line with five holes to go and I had a blowup, snapped my 3-wood and basically started hitting shots on the run, and I think we missed the cut by five or something like that.

So it kind of just goes back to making sure can I kind of control myself, and that’s normally the first step to me having a decent week.

Q. Gambling is becoming much more normalized in sports, especially golf now. I’m wondering if you’re aware of your odds each week and if you’re aware of your odds this week.
TYRELL HATTON: To be honest, I have no idea with my odds in terms of golf tournaments. I don’t mind putting bets on the football back home, but obviously we are — we’re not allowed to do any betting or anything like that in golf, and yeah, so sort of I’ve got no interest in that kind of thing. It makes no difference to how I go about my week, but I can tell you that I’m not very good at betting the on the football. I’m quite good at losing money each Saturday.

Q. You said you were playing Xbox and drinking red wine during your time off. Do you have a particular go-to Xbox game?
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, Call of Duty. So I’m actually devastated that the new War Zone game’s come out. It was released yesterday, and I’m not going to get to play it for another few weeks. So that’s cut me deep.

JOHN BUSH: Tyrrell, we appreciate your time. Congratulations once again on getting the win last week. Best of luck this week.


Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

March 11, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team UK

PGA Tour: 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational Winner Tyrell Hatton Speaks to the Media

Englishman Tyrell Hatton addresses the media following his first PGA Tour victory at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational after finishing with a one stroke lead over Marc Leishman

PGA Tour: Tyrell Hatton speaks on first PGA Tour victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome our 2020 winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Tyrell Hatton.

Tyrell, challenging week overall. Congratulations on your first PGA TOUR victory. If we can get some comments, please.

TYRELL HATTON: Thank you. Well, firstly, it’s an incredible feeling to win on the PGA TOUR and to do it at such an iconic venue that, I’ve grown up watching this event as a kid on TV and to be sitting here next to the trophy now is an amazing feeling and very thankful I managed to hold on at the end.

JOHN BUSH: Before we open up to questions, you move up to number 14 in the FedExCup standings. Talk a little bit about how this sets you up for the rest of the season now.

TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, that’s a big jump for me. Coming into this week I didn’t have any exemptions, so when the season starts you are kind of just playing to keep your status for the following year. Obviously, I’m trying to juggle both tours, which is never easy and I’m normally playing around 16, 17 events, so that makes things certainly a little bit tougher to try and keep your status over here where most of the guys will probably be doing mid-20s. So to wrap that up and — how long is it?

JOHN BUSH: A three-year exemption.

TYRELL HATTON: A three year exemption? Wow. That’s amazing. So obviously I kind of know where I’m at now for awhile, which is great and hopefully I can push on and keep climbing the FedExCup.

John Bush: All right. Let’s go right into questions.

Q. For a guy who looks like he’s on edge a lot of the times, on a golf course that keeps you on edge for all the four hours you’re out there, how did you do it?
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, the setup was extremely tough. And I said yesterday the hardest thing for me will be to manage myself. And over the course of this week I feel like I did a decent job of that.

It was so tough and obviously everyone’s dropping shots quite easily. And after the double on 11, which was pretty tough to take, I’m happy with, I kind of — I feel like I could easily have blown up after that, and managed to kind of keep my head a little bit, although I did get a bit frustrated. That’s always going to happen with me. And as long as it’s not kind of keeping on over to the next shot, then I’ll be okay. And I’m just happy that I’ve managed myself well enough this week to be sitting here.

Q. A lot of us know Mick as a kind of colorful guy and a good time guy. But obviously he’s a very positive influence on you. Can you speak about how he’s done that and especially on a day like today when it’s really tough out there.
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, me and Mick have been working together since the British Masters in May of last year, and I’ve loved working with him. He’s a national treasure, I think (Laughing). He’s so funny. He’s, he keeps — he’s good at talking to me on the course and we have had some really good results and he’s played a huge part in my success recently — or our success, I should say.

Q. Some players say that the tougher the challenge, the better they like it. Are you one of those players or have you come to become one of those today?
TYRELL HATTON: I think players kind of would look back at this week and it’s nice to play something different. Most weeks it’s not target golf, but the scores are super low. And this ended up sort of feeling like a Major with the setup and how firm the greens were and it was just, it was hard to hit it close. I don’t think there was, there was only a handful, not even a handful of guys that were under par for the weekend.

Q. Can I get you to comment just on a few shots in particular today, please? The putt on 11 for double was pretty big. The one out of the rough on 13, that was, looked very difficult. And then the 17th hole.
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, so the, obviously, the putt for double on 11 isn’t, is never ideal to have a 6-footer with more than a cup right-to-left break. It was, I hit a terrible first putt. I kind of, I didn’t trust my line and I was worried about it coming out a bit soft and I end up rip pulling it and then you’re left with a really smelly putt. Thankfully that managed to go in.

The 8-iron on 13? Yeah, obviously, terrible tee shot to end up there. I kind of struggled with flighting the ball as low as I normally would like to and obviously I had just come out of it and with a spinny fade. But we didn’t, we actually had a decent lie in the rough over there. Although, I imagine I was the only person in the field to be over there this week. It came out perfectly. And the wind didn’t gust too much, although I think we only had 140 yards, we knew it was all carry.

And then the 5-iron into 17. It’s amazing the thoughts that you can have upon impact, because at impact I genuinely thought I had hit a spinny cut into the water. So to look up and see it having a little baby draw into the pin is, obviously, I was quite relieved at that.

Q. Well done, again. This time last week we were sitting here and there was a bit of controversy in relation to comments made of Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood. Now, you winning here on the PGA TOUR for the first time, can this be a reflection and a statement that European Tour players are good players and they can win on the PGA TOUR, without getting to controversial?
TYRELL HATTON: No, I don’t think it’s a statement. I think whatever TOUR you play on it’s extremely hard to win golf tournaments and we’re all trying to do that each week. And more often than not, I guess things maybe don’t go your way and you end up not winning. So like I say, it’s tough to win and I’m sure, obviously, everyone’s time comes and thankfully my time was this week.

Q. When you came off 11 you made a pretty animated gesture back at the hole as you were heading to 12. I just wonder what was going on in your mind at that moment and how long did it take to you kind of flush that as you got back to 12.
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, well, I was just annoyed because my third shot in was actually one of the best swings I made all day. We had, the run out on the TV tower, which was my line, we had 193 and I’ve hit a 5-iron at my target and the wind just completely dropped. So that kind of went against us on that hole and I was just having a little moan, like it’s the grass’s fault and the wind’s fault. It’s never my fault. But this is, like going back to a question about Mick, he was really good. Obviously, he just told me to kind of get focused again, it’s done, move on, and have a few practice swings and just kind of get some good feelings again. And I stood on the 12th tee and that was probably one of the best tee shots, certainly, that I hit today.

Q. You spoke of Mick’s influence, but why do you think you’re better equipped now to handle those potentially blow-up situations than you were maybe three or four years ago?
TYRELL HATTON: I guess it just comes with experience. This is my — well, third year on the PGA TOUR, my seventh season on the European Tour. You get yourself in, if you play well enough, often you get, you give yourself opportunities, and I guess you learn things, and I guess I was a little bit more comfortable out there today. And also, this is only my second event back from wrist surgery. So it might sound daft, but my expectations maybe aren’t as high as they would be in a middle of the season if I was, been playing quite a bit. But this is still kind of part of the comeback for me and maybe that helped.

Q. I remember a couple years ago at Honda you talked about living in this town probably at about age 20 or so, you had a few roommates, trying to play the Hooter’s Tour, scratch out a living. At the time did you have a lot of belief in yourself or did this seem a far, far ways away?
TYRELL HATTON: I think you have to believe in yourself, otherwise you’ve got no chance. So obviously the goal was to, at that time, to be playing the European Tour and hopefully eventually PGA TOUR as well. And I think this was 2012, I think that we were out here playing Hooter’s Winter Series. I’ve got good memories from that time and we’ve, me and Emily, my fiance’, we have rented a place here in Orlando now, so it kind of feels like home away from home, which is nice to have. And that’s one of the reasons we come back.

Q. When your wrist injury was taking longer than you hoped, your recovery, did the thoughts of events like this one help sustain you? And also, living in this area, has your appreciation of who Arnold Palmer and what he meant, has it grown?
TYRELL HATTON: Well, at the time, obviously, the surgery took longer to recover from, but as it became more apparent that the, that I was kind of getting back into golf, I knew that I was going to be starting my season in Mexico and I was going to have two weeks in Orlando before then. And we were actually really excited to come out, come back out here, and obviously, we feel very comfortable here and that’s why we have kind of made it our second home. And to, I guess to have your own, to sleep in your own bed on a tournament week is something that we don’t get to experience too often. And home comforts, I think maybe helped keep me a little bit more relaxed as well.

Q. No Englishman has won next week. Just with your form and Tommy, do you think it’s as good a chance as any to break that drought?
TYRELL HATTON: Time will tell. It’s hard to kind of think about next week at the moment with the sort of potential celebrations we have got later today. I don’t think I’ll be in any fit state but, at least until Wednesday. But yeah, I think we’ll savor this one quit a bit. But next week’s going to be, it will be interesting and hopefully an Englishman can finally win that trophy.

Q. Curious, how frustrating was it today to sort of be grinding the way you did? And given, if there was a level of frustration, how rewarding is it to battle through that?
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, it was really tough out there and obviously I was getting frustrated at times, but nowhere near the blowups that I am capable of. And it’s just one of those days where you just got to stick in there, and patience is one of the hardest things with me. To think that I’ve shot, what was it? 3-over for the weekend and ended up winning the tournament. If you told me that on Friday night I wouldn’t have believed you. But it just shows how tough it was. And obviously, like I said earlier, I’m very thankful to sit next to this trophy.

Q. But does that in some way make it more rewarding, I guess, when you have to battle through that, not only the challenge of the golf shots, but battling yourself?
TYRELL HATTON: Yeah, I think this is, it was, it’s such a tough week and to come out on top is a great feeling and you certainly feel like you’ve played a lot more than 72 holes by the end of it.

Q. I got two for you. The first being, do you have, what do you think you’ll do with the red cardigan?
TYRELL HATTON: Well, I don’t want to ruin it and with the celebrations that will occur tonight I think it’s best to put on a coat hanger. But it’s very special to have this and it will take quite a place in the wardrobe.

Q. The other thing is, in the broadcast David Feherty made this comment, he said that you’re nice to everyone but yourself. Do you agree with that?
TYRELL HATTON: That’s probably a good thing to say, actually. Yeah, like I’m a shy person, but I feel like I’ll be, I’m nice but obviously to myself I give myself a hard time and that’s one thing that I should probably get better at.

Q. I don’t think you came over here until, U.S. membership until about 2017 or so. But even from your days in the Hooters Winter Series, have you ever had any occasion to either come over here or meet Arnold?
TYRELL HATTON: No, I never sort of had the opportunity to. Yeah, sorry. Yeah.

Q. A quick one. You were saying at the start of the week that this event is the first of seven over eight weeks. Do you think that may change now, the sort of schedule over this sort of part of the season that includes the Masters as well?
TYRELL HATTON: Potentially. That’s something that I’ll sit down and talk to my management company about and we’ll kind of go from there. Obviously, like I said, the immediate thought is to kind of get celebrating, so I’m sure the relevant conversations will be had, but obviously I want to be playing golf, give myself a good run into the Masters and so we’ll see what happens.

JOHN BUSH: All right, congratulations once again to our 2020 champion, Tyrell Hatton.


Orlando, Florida

March 8, 2020

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Team UK

PGA Tour: Tyrrell Hatton Speaks With Media Following First Round -2 under 69 at the WGC Mexico Championship

Tyrell Hatton recaps his opening round 69 at the WGC Mexico Championship, 4 shots off the lead.

Q. What was your assessment of today?
TYRRELL HATTON: Overall, pretty happy with that. I’ve only been back hitting balls for the last three and a half weeks, so it was a long layoff. I’m quite happy. Obviously I’ve done well here in the past, so I know the course pretty well, and yeah, it was just good to kind of get back out there and play competitive golf again.

Q. You’ve had three top 20s here. What is it you like about this place?
TYRRELL HATTON: I kind of always enjoy short, kind of fiddly golf courses, I guess, and this is certainly up there with the best of them. And I guess it’s funny because you need patience around here, and that’s something that I don’t really have. For some reason the course has kind of been fairly kind to me, and hopefully it continues this week.

Q. Give us a sense of the conditions out there. The wind seemed to be picking up later on in the round.
TYRRELL HATTON: Yeah, the wind picked up a lot. We noticed it probably from the 7th. Definitely windier than how I remember it in previous years. You can kind of see from the scoring, it’s not really that low. But obviously there’s a few challenges this week with the altitude and the wind obviously swirling around now, so that makes it quite tough for club selection.

Q. Bogeys on 13 and 15, so that was a nice way to finish, wasn’t it?
TYRRELL HATTON: Yeah, I kind of struggled with the putter all day, actually. I gave myself lots of chances, but I was leaving a lot of putts short, and then that one on the last, I kind of — when I stood up over it, I didn’t feel too comfortable, so I kind of just stepped back a little bit, gave myself a tiny bit more room, and it was the best stroke I made all day, and it was nice to see that one go in.

Q. How is the wrist?
TYRRELL HATTON: It’s still not 100 percent, to be perfectly honest. I’ve still got a little twinge there, but I’m hoping that obviously now I’m back playing, kind of it’ll ease up. It is just going to take time. The recovery was a bit longer than we thought it would be. Obviously I was hoping to start my season in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but this week is a good test for it, give myself four competitive rounds and see how I feel at the end of it. So I don’t want to kind of push it too much if it’s a little bit sensitive at the end of the week, but I don’t think it will be. It’s just a case of kind of getting back out and playing again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports