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Hatton is determined to reach Ryder Cup high once again

Finding form: Tyrell Hatton has struggled for motivation
Finding form: Tyrell Hatton has struggled for motivation

By Phil Casey

Tyrrell Hatton is hoping to rekindle an old flame in the 148th Open Championship after admitting he has struggled for motivation since his successful Ryder Cup debut.

Hatton was part of the European team which enjoyed an emphatic victory over the United States at Le Golf National in September, partnering Paul Casey to a 3&2 win over World No.1 Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler in the Saturday fourballs.

The 27-year-old went on to finish second in his bid to win a hat-trick of Dunhill Links titles at St Andrews in October but has managed just two top 10s from 17 events so far in 2019.

"Confidence is never that high but the last two days has been good," Hatton said after finishing joint 14th in the Scottish Open on Sunday.

"I've struggled since the Ryder Cup with motivation and not really enjoying golf. It's a massive high and coming away from that, most events don't seem that big in comparison.

"I haven't really spoken to guys (on the team), I think that's one thing that I will do. There's quite a few of them that have played several Ryder Cups and they have experienced that.

"It's all new for me and I've found it pretty difficult. I'm hard on myself as it is, so when you reach a certain point and you're doing well in tournaments, to be trying your best and you're not getting close to finish top 10 most weeks it's pretty tough.

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"I've struggled with that, it's been one of the hardest things for me this year, and if you look at my stats my putting hasn't been that great, whereas a couple of years ago I was ranked first in strokes gained on the PGA Tour.

"This year I think at my worst I was around 150th. I've moved up a bit to around 125, which is still not great. I've gone back to the same shape of putter I was using when I won three times so hopefully we can rekindle an old flame there and get back to holing some putts."

Hatton's performances in the Dunhill Links, which is played at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, suggest he has the links pedigree to perform well at Royal Portrush, although the World No.43 is not so sure.

"You say that but my record in the Open is horrible," added Hatton, who has made the cut twice in seven starts and was fifth at Royal Troon in 2016. "Hopefully I can do a better job at Portrush.

"At Troon it felt like I was playing a different golf course to Henrik (Stenson) and Phil (Mickelson). It was a weird feeling finishing fifth in the Open and I think I was 13 shots behind second place. I'd be extremely happy if I can do better than that next week.

"I've got three days to get used to the golf course and hopefully there's no reason why I can't go out there and have a great week."

Belfast Telegraph


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