Phenomenal breakthrough win could open the floodgates for Tyrrell Hatton

Sam Torrance
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Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - Day Four
Hatton won by four strokes at St Andrews (Source: Getty)

There is winning your first European Tour title, and there is winning your first European Tour title at St Andrews having equalled the course record and finished with a score of 23 under par, as young Englishman Tyrrell Hatton did at the weekend.

It really does matter how you win that first one. Some people limp over the line, but Hatton completed victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday with a four-stroke margin and 100 per cent deserved it.

That is a hell of course on which to break your duck, and to close with rounds of 62 and 66 was phenomenal.

Read more: European team's unity at Ryder Cup was best I've ever seen

That win feels like it has been coming for a while, although at times I have wondered whether his temperament might be getting in the way.

Sometimes talented youngsters can’t believe it is not happening for them – well, now it is and he has proved that he is a class golfer.

Ryder Cup factor

Hatton is now up to a career-high position of 33 in the world rankings, and fourth in Race To Dubai, behind only Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy.

The only shame is that his win didn’t come a month or so earlier and he might have made the Ryder Cup.

Missing out on the competition a couple of weeks ago was probably a motivating factor for him.

I remember watching the Ryder Cup as a young player and wishing I was there. It can only inspire.

Exceptional driver

The 24-year-old has a great all-round game. In particular, he is an exceptional and very confident driver.

The 17th at St Andrews is one of the toughest drives in the world; while I’d always want to hit away from trouble, he hit it towards the danger every day.

This breakthrough win could just be the start for Hatton. He has his exemptions now so he can schedule in the WGC events and Majors and enjoy playing without pressure.

His late charge for the Race To Dubai is a bit like Willett’s last year, and he went on to do pretty well.

Snedeker on a roll

If the Ryder Cup inspired Hatton’s performance then it may have done the same for Brandt Snedeker, who won the Fiji Open by nine shots.

You have to be playing great golf to do that, and it seems Snedeker is benefiting from being part of the USA’s triumph at Hazeltine.

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