It’s not an easy thing for a Scotsman to say, but there are a lot of very good English golfers showcasing their ability on the European Tour at the moment.
Tyrrell Hatton did just that at the Italian Open on Sunday, where he pipped fellow countryman Ross Fisher for a second week in a row and where up-and-coming Englishman Matt Wallace was just one more shot behind in fourth.
Their compatriot Tommy Fleetwood, meanwhile, leads the Race To Dubai and then there is the likes of Matthew Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose.
Hatton did fantastically well to follow up last week’s win at the Dunhill Links Championship with another victory in Italy.
He didn’t make a great start to his final round but caught fire at the right time, sinking five birdies over the last seven holes to take the title in style.
I think he could equally have won this time had he not done so seven days earlier in Scotland, but the more you learn, whether from winning or losing, the better player you become and the more your confidence grows. It’s a long journey.
The 26-year-old from High Wycombe seems to thrive at this time of year. He also won the Dunhill 12 months ago and just weeks later finished second at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. There may well be something in it. I definitely had months that I tended to play better in, though I don’t know why.
Hatton is still 1.5m points behind Fleetwood in the European Tour order of merit but if he keeps going like this it is certainly possible that he could overtake him in the final five tournaments. These things take care of themselves, however, and Hatton will just be looking forward to teeing off again at his next event.
You have to feel sorry for Fisher. Beaten by Hatton at the Dunhill last year and this year and now in Italy, where he tied for second with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat. He shot a course-record 61 last Sunday and 63 this time, so he has done nothing wrong; Fisher simply found someone who was too good, but he will take great heart from his performance.
Hatton may be his nemesis but he and Fisher are both birdie machines and could be a great pairing for Europe at the Ryder Cup next year.
Fourth place for Wallace just solidified his great debut season on the European Tour, having won his first title earlier this year. The 27-year-old has a lovely swing and is one to keep an eye on.
Lastly, I’m due to play my first event for a while this week at the European Senior Masters in the Midlands. I’m not going into it with any aspirations but I feel fit and it’s nice to be back playing again.