Sunday, October 08, 2017

Ross Fisher lowers Old Course record to 6 as he finishes second

Tyrrell Hatton first player to win Dunhill Links Championship two years in a row

Tyrrell Hatton became the first man to successfully defend the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as he held off the charge of Ross Fisher, who broke the Old Course record on a historic day at St Andrews today.
Hatton entered the day with a five-shot lead and extended his bogey-free run to 55 holes as he got 24 under and finished three shots ahead of fellow Englishman Fisher.
The 2010 Ryder Cup player made 11 birdies in a stunning 61 that is the lowest of over 13,300 professional rounds at the Old Course as both men entered the history books on an unforgettable afternoon.
Fisher's 11 under par effort was the second time an Open Championship venue saw its course record broken during the week after Tommy Fleetwood fired a 63 at Carnoustie on Friday.

It is Hatton who will be taking home the trophy, though, after rounds of 68-65-65-66 gave him his second European Tour title and he became just the fourth man after Curtis Strange, Trevor Immelman and Thongchai Jaidee to successfully defend a trophy for his first two wins.

He also becomes just the second player to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship twice after Padraig Harrington and has completed a remarkable return to form after making just two of nine cuts between the the Masters Tournament and US PGA Championship.

For Fisher, it is the second year in a row he has finished second at this event and he was four shots clear of Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, who carded a 63.
Despite a concerted effort from fellow Englishman Ross Fisher, who carded 11 birdies in a blistering 61 - breaking the course record at the famous Home of Golf - to get to 21 under par, Hatton held on to join Ireland's Padraig Harrington as the only other multiple winner of the unique pro-am tournament.

Victor Dubuisson of France was ten under par through 15 holes and - much like Fisher at one point - on course to card the first ever 59 on the European Tour, before dropping a shot on the 16th. He eventually signed for a 63 to finish in third place on 17 under par. His countryman Grégory Bourdy was one shot further back alongside England's Robert Rock and Marc Warren of Scotland. 
Player quotes
Tyrrell Hatton: “Obviously I’m very happy. This week was the first time I had ever defended a title or had the chance to try and do it. You know, it felt like it was a lot harder this year, well, winning this year, than it was last year. I'm so happy that I managed to get over the line.

“I didn't see a leaderboard on the back nine until the 16th green, when I saw he (Ross Fisher) was at 21 and I was thinking how well he was going today. So you know, fair play to Fish. 

"It was an incredible round of golf, and he certainly did push me all the way.“I'm not a very technical person with the golf swing or things like that. I like to keep things really simple. That's what I went back to after the US PGA, and, you know, obviously I've got a new caddie on the bag at the moment, my good friend, Jonathan. 
"He's done a great job since we started working together in Switzerland. I think having a friend on the bag is keeping me relaxed. I feel so much more comfortable with my game. “I played with Jamie (Dornan) last year, and we had a good time and it was good fun. I was happy that we could play again this year.
" Obviously it's a winning formula which helps me, so perhaps he should play with me every week. But no, obviously it was great fun to have him here, and we get on really well. Hopefully we can do it again next year.”

Ross Fisher: “I knew we were starting off kind of playing for second. Obviously Tyrrell had a big lead but after my performance yesterday, I felt like there was a good one in me today around here, because you saw the forecast, and it was still a bit chilly but there wasn't much breeze.

“When you get St Andrews on a day like this, it's definitely doable, but you still have to hit the shots. I got off to a fast start and managed to make some good putts early on. It was a shame not to birdie the last for a 60, but I'm not going to complain too much with a 61.

“Just wanted to come out here and put in a good performance, and if I could, try and repeat last year finishing tied second. But you know, hats off to him (Tyrrell). To win your first tournament here at the Home of Golf is fantastic, but to back it up and successfully defend around these three courses is pretty unique and very, very special. All credit to Tyrrell this week.”

Victor Dubuisson: “I played amazingly like the rest of the week but today it feels like all the putts went in. Today I made two long putts and was really solid. The only regrets I have is I started to think about the 59 on 16 and I had a bad 3-putt.

“The last eight months were like the worst months of putting I've ever had. I felt like my game was okay, but you know, the putts you make for par don't go in, and then a few putts don't drop for birdie; it turns your round of 68 into 74, 75, all the time.

“Doing this in St Andrews on a Sunday, it's really special. You know, the worst part in it is I realised only at the half of the season that my exemption was up this year. I think next year I will play much more events and focus more on playing many events in a row to keep the form.”

Marc Warren: “First and foremost, I love links golf, and the Old Course is my favourite course anywhere in the world. It's just a pleasure to play, especially the weather we've had this week, we've been very lucky again. 
"We get spoiled at this event every year, so it's nice to perform and play well.“I drove the ball well again, so I was hitting a lot of the fairways, the right side of the fairways, and I was able to go at quite a few flags. A bogey-free day today, which is always good on a Sunday. It's been a good few weeks leading into this event. Hopefully the form continues.”

Final scores
par 288 (4x72)
264 T Hatton (Eng) 68 65 65 66
267 R Fisher (Eng) 71 68 67 61
271 V Dubuisson (Fra) 74 66 68 63
M Warren (Sco) 70 71 67 66, G Bourdy (Fra) 70 67 66 71, R Rock (Eng) 71 68 69 66
275 L Donald (Eng) 70 70 66 69, P Dunne (Ire) 67 68 70 70, O Fisher (Eng) 68 71 71 65, E Pepperell (Eng) 72 69 69 65, A Levy (Fra) 70 69 68 68
276 S Gallacher (Sco) 72 67 70 67, B Evans (Eng) 69 68 72 67, J Lagergren (Swe) 69 67 71 69
277 M Siem (Ger) 69 66 74 68, G McDowell (NIre) 69 71 70 67, C Syme (Sco) 72 70 69 66, H Porteous (SAf) 74 71 65 67, N Bertasio (Ita) 70 69 71 67, B Stone (SAf) 71 67 71 68, K Aphibarnrat (Thailand) 70 66 71 70, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 73 68 68 68, R Wattel (Fra) 70 68 70 69, D Drysdale (Sco) 69 67 72 69
278 S Lowry (Irl) 68 75 66 69, J Morrison (Eng) 71 69 72 66, N Fasth (Swe) 73 65 71 69, N Colsaerts (Belgium) 67 67 73 71, G Stal (Fra) 72 67 70 69, B Dredge (Wales) 70 70 69 69, B Ritthammer (Ger) 70 66 71 71, P Hanson (Swe) 71 72 68 67, R Gibson (Australia) 70 72 68 68, T Fleetwood (Eng) 70 63 76 69, A Rai (Eng) 70 70 71 67,
279 D Horsey (Eng) 75 70 66 68, G Havret (Fra) 70 69 69 71, C Bezuidenhout (SAf) 73 70 69 67, L Canter (Eng) 72 69 71 67, D Frittelli (SAf) 70 71 70 68, M Kaymer (Ger) 71 71 67 70, R Gouveia (Portugal) 71 71 67 70, A Chesters (Eng) 71 69 70 69, J Wang (SKor) 69 71 72 67, G Storm (Eng) 75 69 67 68, J Luiten (Netherlands) 70 69 71 69
280 J Scrivener (Australia) 72 71 69 68, J Ahlers (SAf) 71 69 70 70, M Ilonen (Finland) 74 67 67 72, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 69 70 70, G Moynihan (Ire) 70 70 72 68, R Bland (Eng) 73 65 73 69, G Coetzee (SAf) 69 73 69 69, L Johnston (Sco) 72 70 70 68, B Grace (SAf) 70 69 72 69
281 S Gregory (Eng) 71 71 70 69, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 74 67 70 70, J Quesne (Fra) 71 69 72 69
282 R Sterne (SAf) 72 75 65 70, U Van Den Berg (SAf) 73 68 71 70, M Wallace (Eng) 69 67 74 72, J Holmes (USA) 73 66 72 71
284 B Hebert (Fra) 69 72 71 72, L Jensen (Denmark) 71 69 72 72, R McIlroy (NIre) 73 71 68 72
285 M Giles (Australia) 73 67 70 75
286 D Fichardt (SAf) 74 68 69 75
287 A Michael (SAf) 73 65 74 75



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