Hatton the last man standing in Turkey after the lights went out

English golfer makes history by winning six-man playoff under floodlights

England’s Tyrrell Hatton putts on the 18th green during the playoff at the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal  in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

England’s Tyrrell Hatton putts on the 18th green during the playoff at the Turkish Airlines Open at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya, Turkey. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

The never-ending story, full of twists and turns, finally found a way to find a winner, as Tyrrell Hatton – an Englishman who wears his emotions on his sleeve – benefited from a putting blip from Mathias Schwab, his last of originally five playoff opponents left standing, to scoop the €1.8 million cheque in capturing the Turkish Airlines Open at Montgomerie Maxx Royal.

With floodlights required as glorious sunshine turned to dusk and then darkness, Hatton’s par on the fourth playoff hole was sufficient to earn him victory, his fourth on the PGA European Tour and first in two years.

Six players – Hatton and Schwab, along with Erik Van Rooyen, Kurt Kitayama, Benjamin Hebert and Victor Perez – had finished locked together on 20-under-par 268 after 72 holes and the drama was extended in a history-making way as the tournament became the first on the European Tour to be played under the floodlights.

The 558 yards Par-5 18th, the designated playoff hole, produced drama from the off: Van Rooyen’s tee-shot was pulled badly left and he was forced to get down on hands and knees and burrow into the bush to identify his ball, before retracing 25 yards to take an unplayable lie drop. It was his death knell, and although he went through the motions, he was effectively a bystander as Hatton and Kitayama birdied the hole.

Hatton’s chip-in from the rough for his birdie was the unlikeliest of all, but kept him in. Behind them, the remaining trio set off and only Schwab, who had carried a three-stroke lead into the final round, managed to birdie the hole to stay in the hunt for the title. Perez and Hebert exited. Schwab showed his fortitude in getting up-and-down from 80 yards for his birdie.

At the second time of asking, all three had birdie efforts – Hatton and Schwab from 15 feet, Kitayama from eight – but none managed to convert. Before playing the 18th for a third time, referee John Paramour discussed whether or not to put on the floodlights. And, for the first time on the European Tour, the lights were turned on.

On they went. On the third playing of the hole, Schwab – again showing his resilience – pushed his drive into the trees, played a recovery through a gap in the trees and stayed alive when he holed an 18-footer for birdie. Kitayama missed his 10-footer, and then Hatton, the only player who hadn’t endured tree trouble, rolled in his four-footer to make it a mano a mano duel from then on.

The drama continued, with Schwab seemingly taking the advantage with his drive on the fourth playoff hole finding the fairway, while Hatton’s mind was made up for him when his found the rough. A lay-up! The 24-year-old Austrian’s approach finished greenside, some 100 feet from the flag, and – after Hatton’s hit his approach to eight feet – it was all in Schwab’s own hands to control his destiny.

But his first pitch was over-hit, running like a scalded cat by the flag, to rest on the far side of the green. Schwab’s 20-foot birdie putt then ran four feet by on the return. Hatton, then, had his birdie putt to win, and couldn’t believe his eyes when it refused to drop. Schwab, then, missed his. Hatton, who’d been ready to return back to the tee for a fifth playoff hole, went from bemoaning his own luck to benefiting from Schwab’s miss.

“The playoff was mental, and I’m just so happy to win again,” said Hatton. “I said to my team that if I was lucky enough to win again, then I definitely would enjoy it more. I think it’s easy to take for granted, and I mean that in the best terms possible.

“But yeah, it’s incredible to get my fourth win on The European Tour and obviously that wraps up the Masters for next year, as well, which was definitely on my mind coming into the tournament and I knew I only had two events left in my schedule, so delighted to win and obviously wrap that up,” said Hatton.

Shane Lowry (75) and Pádraig Harrington (72) both ended the week on one under.

FINAL LEADERBOARD

(British and Irish unless stated, par 72, (A) denotes amateur)

268 Tyrrell Hatton 68 68 65 67, Kurt Kitayama (USA) 69 68 67 64, Victor Perez (Fra) 68 69 66 65, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 67 70 64 67, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70 67 66 65, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 65 67 66 70. Hatton won at the fourth extra playoff hole

270 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 71 64 71 64, Robert Macintyre 71 63 67 69

271 Romain Langasque (Fra) 70 66 70 65

272 Joachim B Hansen (Den) 68 68 68 68, Ross Fisher 69 64 68 71, Guido Migliozzi (Esp) 72 67 68 65, Patrick Reed (USA) 71 65 65 71, Scott Jamieson 67 68 68 69, Lee Westwood 71 65 68 68

273 Paul Waring 70 67 68 68

274 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 70 68 68 68, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 71 68 69 66, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 73 67 66 68, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 66 70 71 67

275 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 68 66 73 68, Justin Rose 67 67 73 68, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 73 65 69 68, Matthew Southgate 68 71 69 67

276 Justin Harding (Rsa) 69 65 70 72, Joost Luiten (Ned) 67 69 71 69, Sean Crocker (USA) 71 67 72 66

277 Alex Noren (Swe) 66 67 74 70, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 68 69 69 71, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 68 68 71 70, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 70 69 70 68

278 Richie Ramsay 68 73 64 73, David Lipsky (USA) 66 68 73 71, Tom Lewis 65 70 71 72, Thomas Detry (Bel) 67 66 73 72

279 Scott Hend (Aus) 69 68 72 70, Renato Paratore (Ita) 73 68 69 69

280 Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 69 67 68 76, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 71 68 67 74, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 70 72 69 69, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 72 68 69 71, Danny Willett 67 66 74 73, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 68 68 74 70

281 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71 70 66 74, Aaron Rai 68 67 75 71

282 Haotong Li (Chn) 73 71 70 68, Jordan Smith 71 71 71 69, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 75 67 66 74

283 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 71 72 70 70

284 Matt Wallace 74 67 69 74, Gavin Green (Mal) 73 69 67 75, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 70 72 72 70

285 Sam Horsfield 74 73 70 68, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 72 70 69 74, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 73 68 73 71

286 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 72 67 70 77, Oliver Wilson 71 74 72 69, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 71 75 70 70, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 73 70 71 72, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 69 72 72 73, Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 76 71 71 68

287 Shane Lowry 72 65 75 75, Chris Paisley 73 72 68 74, Pádraig Harrington 75 66 74 72

288 Adri Arnaus (Esp) 75 67 70 76

289 George Coetzee (Rsa) 71 71 77 70

290 Justin Walters (Rsa) 75 73 68 74, Nacho Elvira (Esp) 71 67 71 81

291 Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 72 70 75 74

292 Steven Brown 74 75 71 72, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 70 73 72 77

293 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 71 75 76 71

296 David Drysdale 72 72 76 76

298 (a) Taner Yamac (Tur) 72 72 79 75

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