St Andrews - England's Tyrrell Hatton celebrated a maiden
European Tour victory and the likelihood of a first US Masters appearance next
year with a comfortable four-stroke win in the Alfred Dunhill Links
Championship at St Andrews on Sunday.
Hatton, who turns 25 later this week, posted a final round
66 for a tournament record-equalling low of 23-under par and in relatively calm
conditions on the famed Old Course.
It was Hatton's 83rd European Tour event and he became the
15th different winner in the 16-year history of the Scottish tournament.
However, in receiving the $800 000 first-prize cheque, Hatton spoke of dreaming of his first pro career triumph
since being taken by his father, Jeff, to the 1997 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth
in Surrey, southwest of London, and a 30-minute drive from the family home at
"Ever since I was a six-year-old, when my dad took me
to Wentworth, I've dreamt of this day," he said.
"My dad has also been my coach since I was 11 years of
age, so I have to say a big thank you to him as he's helped me so much, and
he's got an indoor golf studio back home in Marlow.
"Without his input it would have been impossible for me
to be standing here now with this trophy."
Hatton kick-started his season by finishing runner-up in
July's Scottish Open before then sharing fifth place a week later in his first
appearance in the British Open.
"My second-place result in the Scottish Open was an
important week, as it not only got me into my first Open a week later but also
two weeks later into the PGA Championship," he said.
"That result just kick-started my good run of events.
"Also I was 53rd in the world coming into this week and
I've been told, should I move to No. 35, and if I can stay inside the top-50 by
the end of the year, that then means playing in my first Masters next April.
"So I'm very excited at that prospect as it would
fantastic but more importantly I want to improve my ranking in what events I
have left this season."
South Africa's Richard Sterne (66) and England's Ross Fisher
(67) shared second place on 19-under par, while double Major-winner Martin
Kaymer, the 2010 Dunhill champion, could only manage a 69 to finish sixth at
There was some joy for reigning US Masters champion, Danny
Willett after an indifferent fortnight either side of the Atlantic for the
Willett, who had badly missed the cut over the opening three
rounds, teamed with his regular caddy and amateur partner, Jonathan Smart, to
post a combined 12-under par 60 over the last day and win the pro/amateur prize
by a shot at 30-under par.
Smart had caddied when Willett won at Augusta and to
celebrate Willett's win had worn his 'Augusta National' white boiler suit to
greet workers at his parents' security business in Yorkshire.
"I have to thank John as he carried me all week,"
said Willett, a member of the Europe team that lost away to the United States
in the Ryder Cup.
Willett, in the absence of nearest rivals Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy, remained top of the Race to Dubai money list, while Hatton has moved up from ninth to fourth place.
Leading final round scores in the European Tour Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the Old Course St. Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns, Scotland on Sunday (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 72):
265 - Tyrrell Hatton 67 70 62 66
269 - Ross Fisher 65 68 69 67, Richard Sterne (RSA) 69 69 65 66
271 - Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 66 68 69 68
272 - Marc Warren 72 66 67 67
273 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 71 68 65 69
275 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 71 68 67 69, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 73 66 69 67, Florian Fritsch (GER) 68 71 65 71, Renato Paratore (ITA) 71 70 66 68
276 - Lasse Jensen (DEN) 71 69 66 70, Alex Noren (SWE) 64 71 73 68, David Horsey 72 69 66 69, Bradley Dredge 69 72 68 67
277 - Graeme McDowell 74 67 67 69, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 68 68 75 66, Tommy Fleetwood 72 67 70 68
278 - Richard Bland 70 69 70 69, Jordan Zunic (AUS) 70 71 67 70, Romain Wattel (FRA) 78 66 68 66, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 73 71 67 67, Shane Lowry 72 68 72 66, Niclas Fasth (SWE) 72 69 68 69, Gregory Havret (FRA) 76 67 70 65
279 - Craig Lee 69 73 69 68, Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 70 71 69 69, Paul Dunne 72 72 66 69, George Coetzee (RSA) 72 69 69 69, Graeme Storm 71 72 69 67, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 71 73 66 69