One of England's youngest rising stars hasn’t made an impression in the United States yet, but that could change quickly on the grand stage of Augusta National Golf Club.
Tyrrell Hatton, 26, had moved to 13th in the world ranking after tying for third in the Mexico Championship in early March. He’s won three times on the European Tour since October 2016.
“I’m quite happy going under the radar,” Hatton said at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in mid-March. “I guess there is less expected of me that way, which is nice. I can do what I want to do and be left alone at certain points, which is nice.”
The way Hatton can go low on a golf course is definitely an attention-getter. He was 45-under par when he won the Dunhill Links and Italian Open in back-to-back weeks last October.
“I can go low if I need to,” Hatton said. “Everything needs to be on point. Low scoring is not an issue for me.”
He shot 68-65-65-66 at the Dunhill tournament.
“I was pretty comfortable at the Dunhill,” he said. “I had good memories from the previous year, obviously winning. It was good to be back there, and I was happy with my swing. If I’m happy with my swing, I’m generally going to have a good week. The putter behaved itself, which can be a little bit streaky.”
In addition to his penchant for low scores, Hatton also has a reputation for the passion he shows on the golf course.
“I’m a quite fiery person off the golf course as well,” he said. “There are certain aspects I could improve on when I’m on the golf course, but overall I wouldn’t say I need to turn into a robot.”
There were no low scores for Hatton in his Masters debut last year. He shot 80-78 during rounds when the winds gusted as high as 30 mph.
“It was pretty tough,” Hatton said. “It wasn’t ideal. It is what it is. The conditions were the same for everyone, and unfortunately I just didn’t play very well. It’s never going to be great when you have tough conditions and you’re not hitting it the way you want to. It was just a tough week. Hopefully, I can do better this year.”
His play at Augusta National in 2017 was surprising because Hatton had come into the tournament playing well. He had three consecutive top-10 finishes leading into the Masters.
“In golf, you can’t pick and choose when you’re going to play well," Hatton said. "Unfortunately, the Masters just fell on a week I didn’t hit the ball that great, which was disappointing since it was a major and I didn’t play well. Especially the fact it was my first Masters. I was quite keen to have a really good week. It didn’t work out. I’ll try again this year. I’ll try my best and see what happens.