Dejected Tyrrell Hatton knows he let a hat-trick of Dunhill Links Championship wins slip from his grasp following a torturous back nine on the Old Course at St Andrews yesterday.
The home of golf has been a happy hunting ground for the Ryder Cup player in the last two years and a third win in a row looked little more than a procession at one point until the wheels came off in spectacular fashion for the Englishman at the turn.
Hatton went from being in total control to scrambling to force a play-off in a startling two hours. In the end he left with nothing and was left wondering how a dream start ended with a nightmare finish.
He said: “I started off really well and felt really comfortable out there. I was scoring quite well considering the conditions were tough but my momentum completely went after my tee shot at the 10th. From there I couldn’t seem to do anything right.
“I wasn’t playing particularly well and you need some breaks when things are not going your way but unfortunately it didn’t happen for me on the back nine and my putt on the last to get into the play-off summed it up basically.
“It was just a massive gust of wind which knocked me off and I pretty much lost my balance on a putt which is unfortunate. I’m pretty disappointed because I had a five-shot lead at one point. It was in my hands.
“Unfortunately I just couldn’t seem to do anything right on the back nine.”
Hatton departed St Andrews full of regret but he knows once the pain of letting victory slip subsides he can reflect on another strong showing in the tournament this week before heading for Asia to play in the PGA Tour event, the CJ Cup, next week.
He said: “There are positives. Obviously finishing second is a good effort and I tried my best obviously to win it again.
“It would have been pretty special to have three in a row but it didn’t work out.
“It wasn’t meant to be but I will enjoy a week off at home now and head over to South Korea.”