Tyrrell Hatton misses out on Alfred Dunhill Links Championship treble
Reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood takes positives after runner-up finish
Last Updated: 07/10/18 5:23pm
Tyrrell Hatton concedes a third successive Dunhill Links Championship title "was in my hands", after the Englishman blew a five-shot lead during the final round at St Andrews.
The 26-year-old missed out on joining Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els as winners of the same European Tour event in succession as he dropped four shots on the back nine to enable Lucas Bjerregaard to secure victory on the Old Course.
Hatton, coming into the event fresh from contributing to Europe's Ryder Cup win at Le Golf National, closed with a level-par 72 to finish one shot behind Bjerregaard and alongside countryman Tommy Fleetwood.
I guess my putt on the last to get in the playoff sums it up, really.
Tyrrell Hatton on missed birdie putt at 18th
"I started off well, scoring pretty well the front nine, considering conditions were quite tough," Hatton, who compiled four birdies in a row from the third to open up a commanding advantage.
"Then, the momentum completely went I think after the tee shot on 10. For some reason, just couldn't seem to do anything right. Tried my best but you need some good breaks I guess.
"Unfortunately that didn't quite happen for me on the back nine and I guess my putt on the last to get in the playoff sums it up, really. Just a massive gust of wind knocks me off.
"I pretty much lost balance on a putt, which is unfortunate. I'm pretty disappointed because I had a five-shot lead at one point. It was in my hands. Unfortunately I just couldn't seem to do anything right on the back nine."
Despite the disappointment of missing out on a fourth European Tour success, Hatton was determined to remain upbeat after claiming his seventh top-10 finish this season.
Radar on Bjerregaard's Links triumph
Wayne Riley reflects on Lucas Bjerregaard's victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and runners-up finishes for Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood.
"There's positives. Obviously finishing second is a good effort," he added.
"I tried my best obviously to win it again. It would have been pretty special to have three in a row. Didn't work out. It wasn't meant to be. I will enjoy a week off at home now and head over to South Korea."
Fleetwood, who picked up four points for Thomas Bjorn in France last week, returned a three-under 69 in the testing conditions but missed a birdie putt at the 18th, which would have seen him into a play-off.
The European No 1 moves up to second in the Race to Dubai rankings, behind Open champion and Ryder Cup partner Francesco Molinari, and believes he can still finish top of the standings.
"There's still tournaments left," Fleetwood, who will next compete at the Sky Sports British Masters this week, said.
I played some really good golf and fell just short.
"Keep your head down, keep practising and keep trying to improve. We'll see at the end of the year what kind of chance we've got or where we are but it's nice to move in the right direction.
"It was nice coming down the stretch with a chance to win. I played some really good golf and fell just short. There was a lot of good stuff.
"I had a chance on 16 and 18, 18 especially. You got to 15 and you feel like you've got a chance still.
"All in all it was a great week and I've played some really good stuff. The game is obviously in a good place, take the positives from it and we go again when we play next.
"It's obviously a little bit raw when you've fallen just short but, overall, it was a lot of good stuff."
The next stop on the European Tour is the Sky Sports British Masters and there will be live coverage throughout the week beginning with the Hero Challenge from 6.30pm on Tuesday.