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Hatton clinches maiden title with Dunhill Links win

Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton celebrated by posing on the famous Swilcan Bridge

Tyrrell Hatton secured his first victory on the European Tour as he swept to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title at St Andrews.

The 24-year-old Englishman, from High Wycombe, finished on 23 under par, four shots clear of South African Richard Sterne and England’s Ross Fisher.

Hatton carded a six-under 66 on Sunday having equalled the St Andrews Old Course record with a 62 on Saturday.

“It’s a dream come true,” Hatton told BBC Sport.

“To do it here is fantastic. I’m just over the moon that I got over the line. There have been a few experiences this year when I have been in the final group.

“Wentworth was a big one where I didn’t have any patience. I wanted a quick start but didn’t get that and got down on myself.

“It was a new experience today going out leading but I knew I just had to stay patient and play my own game.”

Hatton’s score matched the best in the event’s 16-year history and he picks up the first prize of £640,380, taking his season’s earnings to around the £2m mark.

The team prize was won by the pairing of Masters champion Danny Willett and his caddie Jonathan Smart, who recorded a score of 38 under par.

Willet missed the cut for the individual event but says his experience of playing alongside the man who carries his bag on a weekly basis will live with him for a long time to come.

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Danny Willett (left) talks to Jonathan Smart as the pair walk up the fairway

“It’s been a great week all round.” said Willett.

“To be able to play three of the best links courses in Scotland with your pal not on your bag but walking down the fairways with you, I think we would both have taken it.”

Grant Forrest from East Lothian was playing in his first event as a professional and finished with a creditable score of six under par and tied for 41st, giving him a healthy cheque of around £25,000.

The 23-year-old had a sterling career as an amateur but decided to delay his move into the pro ranks for a year because he didn’t feel quite ready for the step up.

“My plan was to turn pro after the Walker Cup last year but I struggled a little towards the end of the season.” explained Forrest.

“I felt I wanted to turn pro when I was on a good run so decided to have another year as an amateur and work on my game and now was the right time.”

Forrest already has a number of invitations in place for next season but his immediate focus will now be to try and achieve his card at Tour School in November.

“Tour School is a tough place. I believe I can do well there so that is the plan.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/37603344