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Masters 2017: Hatton optimistic of a second green jacket on debut

By Phil Casey

Tyrrell Hatton's experience of Augusta National had been limited to a video game until recently, but the world No.15 is already in possession of a green jacket of the type traditionally presented to the Masters champion.

Hatton's version came from winning a competition as a seven-year-old and although he will have to defy the odds to win the real thing on his debut, the 25-year-old can be justifiably optimistic.

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After claiming his first title in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year and narrowly missing out on another in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Hatton has not finished worse than 13th in five stroke play events in 2017

"The stat about no rookie winning the Masters since 1979 is an interesting one," said Hatton.

"You earn your place here. The best players in the world get in, so even as rookies you can win golf tournaments. I'll be trying my best this week to do that.

"Seeing Danny Willett win last year was great for English golf and it was great to have an English winner of the Masters again.

"It would be nice if there was another this year. We've got (a record) 11 of us in the field this week. Only time will tell if this will be a great generation, but there are a few of us who have been doing well and hopefully it will continue.

"I've taken a lot of confidence from the way I've played in the last couple of majors. The Open was a big week for me. I had played it four times previously and never made the cut. I put more pressure on myself that week to make a cut, and then to have a good weekend and finish fifth was awesome.

"It gave me so much confidence going into the US PGA knowing I could do well in majors and I had a good weekend again and finished tied 10th. I know I can do well in these big tournaments now."

As for that green jacket, Hatton explained: "When I was a kid I played in the Wycombe Heights Junior Masters and I managed to win it.

"You got a little green jacket which was cool. I've still got it at home; it's a nice thing to keep."

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