11 October 2020 20:32
The recent tendency for the European Tour's marquee event to fall the way of English golfers has continued, after Tyrrell Hatton confidently pressed home a 54-hole advantage to win the PGA Championship at Wentworth. Victor Perez emerged as Hatton's biggest threat but a wayward drive at the par-five 17th, which the Frenchman really needed to birdie, allowed the 28-year-old from Buckinghamshire a relatively stress-free finish. "It has been a goal to win this tournament in my career," said Hatton, who used to attend Wentworth as a spectator when a child. Tyrrell Hatton will turn his attention to major glory after giving himself the ideal early birthday present by achieving his childhood dream of winning the BMW PGA Championship. Hatton carded a closing 67 at Wentworth to claim his second win of the year and fifth European Tour title on 19 under par, four shots clear of France's Victor Perez.
Hatton grew up not far from Wentworth and often came to one of the European Tour's flagship events as a spectator, something his mother reminded him of with a picture ahead of the final round. "As a five-year-old walking round here I always wanted to be inside the ropes and playing and this is such a massive event that to get over the line is such a special feeling. It would be nice to win a World Golf Championship event and then a major and I'm looking forward to the Masters, but first things first I am going to celebrate tonight." The leading pair traded near-identical birdies on the 11th and both bogeyed the 13th after Perez had picked up a shot on the par-five 12th, but Hatton struck a decisive blow with his fifth birdie of the day on the difficult 15th. A wild drive from Perez then led to a bogey on the 17th and left Hatton clear to enjoy the final two holes, although he was unaware of the state of play and almost mis-hit his second shot on the 18th into the water. Perez, who was part of the six-man play-off won by Hatton in last year's Turkish Airlines Open, said: "I knew I had to get off to a quick start and obviously the birdie on two and eagle on four got me right there and I was flying.
Tyrrell Hatton was sent a photograph by his mum of him as a five-year-old spectator at the 1996 PGA Championship at Wentworth Hatton, who started the day with a three-shot lead, had been quickly reeled in by Perez after last year's Dunhill Links champion followed a birdie-2 at the second with an eagle at the fourth, where he rolled in a 22-footer. Hatton, who won on the PGA Tour for the first time earlier this year in the Arnold Palmer Invitational ay Bay Hill, has moved to seventh in the Race to Dubai rankings and could jump as high as ninth in the updated world rankings."To win here and achieve another career goal of breaking into the top 10 in te world in the same week is very special, and, looking forward to the Masters, I'll take confidence from this win in the remainder of the season," he declared. It was another brilliant week for Perez, who may have been a somewhat surprise winner of the Dunhill Links just over a year ago but now looks very much at home when he's in contention in some of the game's biggest events. It's obviously something that I was doing last year around the same time, so it gives me a lot of confidence."Helped by an eagle to finish for the second day running, Patrick Reed cemented his position at the top of the Race to Dubai rankings by sharing third spot with Andy Sullivan on 14-under, with Ian Poulter a further shot back and Eddie Pepperell making it four Englishman in the top six on 12-under. "The biggest thing for me this week was coming over and testing out my golf game, but, at the same time, it was also trying to hold on to that top spot," said Reed, who is bidding to become the first American to win the Race to Dubai.
Richie Ramsay finished as the leading Scot in this event for the third year in a row as he followed three straight 71s with a closing 68 to claim a share of 20th spot on seven-under. Hatton carded a closing 67 at Wentworth to claim his fifth European Tour title on 19 under par, four shots clear of France's Victor Perez. The victory will see Hatton break into the world's top 10 for the first time when the rankings are updated on Monday, two days before he celebrates his 29th birthday. Hatton, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, saw his three-shot overnight lead wiped out in the space of four holes as Perez birdied the second and holed from 22 feet for an eagle on the fourth. Both bogeyed the 13th after Perez had picked up a shot on the par-five 12th, but Hatton struck a decisive blow with his fifth birdie of the day on the difficult 15th. Former Masters champion Patrick Reed eagled the 18th for the second day running to finish in a tie for third on 14 under par with England's Andy Sullivan, whose 65 was the best score of the day.