For a man prone to as many emotional outbursts as Tyrrell Hatton, you’d think we’d have seen him playing in his own protective bubble at golf events across the world. But he’s not as dangerous a character as some people may think.
Yes, he talks about almost striking a lady with a golf ball, who was simply just driving a golf buggy around a course in Bellerive - Hatton was counting his lucky stars that she nor any of the other patrons weren’t injured. Yes, he has thrown a golf club in anger and frustration in the past, but again, no-one was hurt.
Hatton is an emotional guy and he plays right on the edge when it comes to the big events, but his game thrives off the friction he provides during a round of golf.
That helped him win his first tournament in just over two years last November and guarantees him a place at the 2020 Masters – an iconic event where golf unites beauty, magnificence and impeccable manners. Look out for fireworks from the 28-year-old UK born-golfer, currently ranked no.31 in the world.
RSNG As well as being respected as a very good golfer, you’re also known as quite a fiery character on the course?
TYRRELL HATTON, THE WILD MAN OF GOLF ‘It’s just what I do. I’m a very passionate player and I have a huge will to win and be successful. So, when things don’t go as well as I would like you will see me react to that. I will try not to go too far, but the point is that I do get frustrated and that emotion will always be in me.’
‘It’s got to the point now where people kind of see my outbursts as a form of entertainment, as well as watching the golf that I play. I’ve been compared to Happy Gilmore on social media and while I do like to laugh at those comments and ones like that, I don’t want to get a reputation for it.
‘There’s nothing wrong with anyone showing how much they want to win and it can be incredibly hard to take when things don’t go my way, but I was happy to make sure that I kept my composure to win the Turkish Open, and prove that I’m not just an angry loser!’
‘Play-offs always feel like ‘extra-time’ for golf – you have done the hard work but now you have to go man-to-man to prove you are the best again’
RSNG That Turkish Open win you speak of was your first victory in two years – not counting the Ryder Cup, of course. How did it feel to get that under your belt and make history in the process?
TH ‘Yeah, that was an amazing feeling. To have a really competitive play-off as well made it all the more special. Play-offs always feel like ‘extra-time’ for golf – you have done the hard work in finishing top, or joint top, and now you have to go man-to-man to prove you are the best all over again. It’s tough going but probably the best way to win.’
‘In this case it was five other golfers all going to extra holes to try and determine a winner of a four-day tournament… it went on so long that they had to put floodlights on!’
‘I’m sure it will be a long time until I experience something like that again – it may never happen in the future, at least certainly not to me. To win in any circumstances was what I wanted, and as I said, I definitely enjoyed it more than I have done my other victories before that.’
‘It also made sure that I am able to play in the Masters for 2020, and I’m glad that happened because there were only two more events that I could secure my place at Augusta if I wasn’t able to win. So, yeah, it was great for a few reasons.’
RSNG What happened on the Sunday at TPC Boston? I mean, that gravity-defying shot at the 18th was almost heart-breaking to watch, as it refused to go in the hole. Even more so, your reaction as you could do nothing but watch it?
TH ‘Haha! Yeah, I was totally helpless, and I don’t think I could or will ever do that again. It just seemed to sum up the whole day for me in that final round, because it seemed to me that nothing was going right.’
‘I mean, I did get a bit of luck on a few holes and with a couple of shots, and I never really felt like I was playing well at any point during that round of golf. I hit some awful shots and was rightly punished for those, but there were a few where I felt I was unfortunate not to be rewarded for.’
‘That ball goes in at the 18th from off the green and I win the tournament, my first win on the PGA Tour and what happens after that? Anything could happen. But it’s not to be and sometimes things just go like that. You have to be very resilient in golf and it can be the best and the worst game, at times.’
‘I was so thankful nobody was hurt – that was my primary concern – my second thought was ‘wow, that just saved my round!’
RSNG One of the most intriguing drives I’ve certainly ever seen was your tee shot at the fifth hole on the Saturday at Bellerive for the PGA Championship, a few years ago?
TH ‘As soon as I hit it, I thought “…oh dear, this is heading for trouble down the left side of the hole…” The more I looked and was attempting – completely futile, of course – to will it back towards the fairway, it was going further and further left. It came to a stop, incredibly, in the back of a golf buggy which a lady was driving and that buggy was full of water bottles.’
‘I suppose both of us were really lucky because I think she was about a couple of feet away from being struck with the ball, and she would have had no idea about it.’
‘Me, I was so thankful nobody was hurt - that was my primary concern. My second thought was ‘wow, that just saved my round!’
‘That drive could easily have gone out of bounds and as it was, I was able to get free relief as it was from an unplayable lie and I was eventually able to get onto the green and escaped with a bogey from a situation which could have been much worse. That’s why I love golf – it’s measured, skilful, intense, and just a little bit crazy!’
WHAT NEXT? If you missed our interview with former world number one golfer, Martin Kaymer, then catch up here.