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BMW PGA Championship: Tyrrell Hatton hoping for successful title defence ahead of Ryder Cup

Tyrrell Hatton finished four shots ahead of Victor Perez to win at Wentworth last year; Englishman almost certain to feature in Europe's Ryder Cup team but place not quite secured; watch the BMW PGA Championship live on Sky Sports Golf from 8.30am on Thursday

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Tyrrell Hatton looks ahead to his title defence at the BMW PGA Championship and assesses the state of his game ahead of the Ryder Cup later this month

Tyrrell Hatton is hoping a return to Wentworth this week to defend the BMW PGA Championship title will help him rediscover his best form.

The 29-year-old Englishman has not quite cemented his place in Europe's Ryder Cup team, but looks almost certain to be heading to Whistling Straits later this month as part of Padraig Harrington's line-up to face the United States.

His win at Wentworth last year and a victory at the Abu Dhabi Championship in January helped Hatton rise to fifth in the world rankings earlier this year, but he has slipped to 17th after a poor run of form which has seen him miss the cut in three of his last five tournaments.

Hatton claimed the fifth of his six European Tour wins last October at the BMW PGA Championship when he finished four shots clear of Victor Perez, and is seeking to regain some forward momentum this week ahead of the Ryder Cup.

Tyrrell Hatton with the trophy after winning the 2020 BMW PGA Championship
Image: Hatton with the trophy after winning the 2020 BMW PGA Championship

"It's obviously good memories coming back here," he said. "To be honest I only live sort of 25, 35 minutes away anyway. Been lucky enough to play here numerous times when I've been back here in the UK to the point where it almost feels a bit like a second home course.

"So I feel pretty comfortable out there, and hopefully I can have a good week this week. I know my form's not been that great for the last sort of three or four months maybe. But hopefully I can find something this week that if I make the Ryder Cup team, certainly hopefully I can help the team out."

Hatton admitted he was surprised to be told by Harrington on Tuesday that he was not yet confirmed as a member of the European team.

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"Paddy told me, it was a touch surprising," he said. "It's something like 99.99 per cent in but I think the best thing is - it's not guaranteed and it saves any awkward stuff on social media I guess if that was to go out and someone was to point out, if this situation happened.

"So obviously not guaranteed but that doesn't change anything going into this week. Yeah, there's a lot of points up for grabs and hopefully I can have a strong week."

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There were no fans in attendance at Wentworth last year when Hatton triumphed, so he is looking forward to playing in front of packed galleries this week in the European Tour's flagship event.

"It kind of feels surreal being back and being defending champion here," he added. "Firstly, it's amazing to see the stands back and all the players this week, obviously looking forward to welcoming fans back and I'm sure they will create a great atmosphere for us to play in this week, and the course is in great shape and it's just nice to be back here.

"It would be great to put up a good defence this week, so I'd love to have another chance to win. I know it would certainly make it very special. I'm going to have all my family here this week. So it will be nice to play well in front of them."

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