04 Jan 2022

Tyrrell Hatton all fired up for Yas Links defence

The DP World Tour is set to return with a bang when the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship kicks off the 2022 season later this month, with a host of star names set to convene in the capital in a bid to win the first Rolex Series event of the year, along with the iconic Falcon Trophy. Reigning DP World Tour championship winner Collin Morikawa and former World No.1 Rory McIlroy are the only confirmed names so far, but it’s one of the names that hasn’t been announced just yet that will be vying to keep up his sublime record in the Tour’s grandest events – Tyrrell Hatton.

Rory will be keen on making sure Tyrrell doesn’t secure the double at Yas Links this year.The Englishman surged to a sixth DP World Tour title in last year’s edition after carding a superb final round 66 to pull clear of overnight leader McIlroy and finish the week on 18 under par at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. The victory, which was Hatton’s fourth Rolex Series triumph in his last 20 starts, helped him on his way to finishing fifth in the DP World Tour Rankings as well as making Padraig Harrington’s Ryder Cup Team at Whistling Straits. 

“It was a special week, to kick off the 2021 season with a win was great,” said Hatton at the Audemars Piguet Golf Day at the Els Club following the climax of last season. “I was very fortunate to have a really good run of form over a 15-month period where I was lucky enough to win four times. Sadly, it hasn’t been so great since then, but that win in Abu Dhabi was very special.”

 

Living with State side at Lake Nona
The victory also helped Hatton secure a special something away from the golf course. “I bought a house in Orlando which we were going through with it at the time,” he said. “I now live inside the gates at Nona, which is quite near to a lot of Tour pros, so it’s a nice place to be.”

No Falcon Clubhouse Glory
Hatton had enjoyed a string of impressive results at Abu Dhabi Golf Club before his victory last season with two top tens and two more finishes inside the top 15 in his six outings at the club famed for its spectacular Falcon Clubhouse. He won’t have the chance to keep up that record this year as Yas Links, Abu Dhabi prepares to host the tournament for the very first time in what promises to herald a new era for the Championship. 

Disappointed with the move
The Kyle Phillips-designed masterpiece is set to offer a whole new challenge to some of the biggest names in golf – something Hatton has mixed feelings about. “I have never played there, I’d say that I’m disappointed that it’s moved,” he said. “I enjoyed the week, I like the golf course as I’d start my season there and in the Middle East and it has always been enjoyable. I hope I like the new course, I’ve heard fairly good things about it so time will tell.”

Another course to conquer
Whatever his feelings on Yas Links, it will tick off another course in the Middle East for the 30-year-old, who first played in the region at the Challenge Tour Grand Final in 2013. Since then he has been a regular performer at some of the region’s best golf courses, including the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates and the famed Majlis at Emirates Golf Club, where he has finished inside the top three at both courses at the DP World Tour Championship and Dubai Desert Classic respectively. 

“The region has been such a big part of the DP World Tour,” he said. “I enjoy coming out here ever since I played the Challenge Tour Grand Final at Al Badia, so I’ve been coming here for the past eight years and I enjoy it every time I come.”

Ferrari World might get a visit from Hatton?
We’re sure a first visit to Yas Island and its abundance of world-class entertainment and thrill-seeking outlets, along with one of the finest golf clubs on the planet will ensure Hatton has another memorable trip to the UAE.

Worldwide Golf: How often do you change your wedges and do you vary the loft and balance according to the courses that you play in?
Tyrrell Hatton: I probably shouldn’t change the wedges as much as I do, certainly the lob wedge, I get far too much spin, and I think there’s something quite nice about having new grooves that for me personally isn’t great certainly with the lob wedge and hitting that 70 yard shot. We play a lot of courses where the greens are quite soft now and I get way too much spin, so that’s probably something I should look at.

WWG: Have you ever lost your clubs on Tour?
TH: I think it was at the US PGA actually in 2016, I was on a flight and they lost the clubs so for the first few practice days I didn’t have my usual setup, but thankfully they arrived just before the start of the tournament so it was fine during the event but it wasn’t ideal preparation.

WWG: Do you collect any clubs?
TH: No, not really. I keep the ones that I win with like the irons. They are nice mementoes for winning tournaments.

WWG: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to an amateur trying to lower their handicap?
TH: I’d work with a coach, the best thing I can do is know how far they hit the clubs, normally amateurs think like ‘oh yeah, I hit it this far’ and realistically they don’t not, not even close.

WWG: What your favourite car?
TH: It has the be the Lamborghini Aventador, I’m a huge Lambo fan!

WWG: What’s the best watch you own?
TH: Audemars Piquet Royal Oak Offshore

WWG: The last film you watched?
TH: Red Notice with the Rock, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot

WWG: The last holiday you took?
TH: Dublin where plenty of Guinness was consumed! 🙂

 

 

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