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Hats off as Tyrrell goes back-to-back with Italian Open triumph

Tyrrell Hatton turned 26 on Saturday and celebrated by claiming a second European Tour title in the space of a week, finishing 21 under.

TOP CONTRIBUTOR
15 Oct 2017, 21:47 IST
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Italian Open champion Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton gave himself a birthday present to remember by showing nerves of steel to hole a birdie putt at the last to win the Italian Open and claim back-to-back European Tour titles. 

The Englishman retained his Alfred Dunhill Links Championship trophy last Sunday and claimed a dramatic third European Tour success at Golf Club Milano a week later.

Hatton drained a putt from around 15 feet at the 18th to finish 21 under with a closing six-under 65, avoiding a play-off with Ross Fisher – also second behind his compatriot at the Alfred Dunhill last weekend – and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

European captain Thomas Bjorn this week said Hatton has a "a good chance of achieving great things" at the Ryder Cup next year and he gave another demonstration of his ability to handle the pressure on Sunday.

Hatton turned 26 on Saturday and he has yet another reason to celebrate after coming home in 30, five of his six birdies in a bogey-free round coming on the back nine.

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He managed just the one gain before the turn at the sixth, but reeled off four birdies in a row from the 12th to the 15th and kept his composure for a decisive sixth at 18 with Fisher and Aphibarnrat watching on.

Fisher gave himself a great opportunity to end his three-year wait for a sixth European Tour title with a magnificent eight-under 63, but was left with a sense of deja vu after missing out by just a shot along with Thailand's Aphibarnrat.

Aphibarnrat birdied the first four holes and conjured up nine gains in a final round of 65, but paid the price for a double bogey at 16 and another dropped shot at the eighth.

Matt Wallace, leader by two shots going into the final round, finished fourth following a two-under 69, producing arguably the shot of the tournament when he chipped in from the back of the green for a birdie at the penultimate hole.

Marcus Fraser took fifth with a 65, while Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Francesco Molinari were among four players to end the week four shots adrift of leader Hatton.

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