Hatton Wins In Turkey After Record-Equaling 6-Man Playoff
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-11-12
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ANTALYA, Turkey — England’s Tyrrell Hatton won the Turkish Airlines Open after a record-equaling six-man playoff that finished under floodlights.
Hatton defeated Matthias Schwab with a par on the fourth extra hole to win his fourth title in memorable circumstances in Antalya.
“I actually can’t believe that I’ve won,” Hatton said, adding “I feel like I really found my game again.”
Earlier, Hatton (67), Schwab (70), American Kurt Kitayama (64), French pair Victor Perez (65) and Benjamin Hebert (67), and South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyen (65) had all finished tied on 20 under to set up the third six-man playoff in European Tour history.
Schwab had led by three shots going into the final round as the 24-year-old Austrian chased his first European Tour title.
Patrick Reed started the final round tied for second after two straight 7-under 65s at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal. He shot 71 — just as he did in the first round — to finish tied for 10th on 16 under.
Two-time defending champion Justin Rose (68) ended in a tie for 21st on 13 under.
Players were sent out in two playoff groups of three on the par-five 18th and Van Rooyen was the first man eliminated after a wayward drive led to a bogey six.
Hatton looked in danger of an early exit as well after a clumsy third shot from the back of the green, only to then chip in from 40 feet for an unlikely birdie that was matched by Kitayama.
Overnight leader Schwab, who had missed a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win the tournament in regulation, was the only player in the second group to make birdie to leave three players heading back to the 18th tee.
All three missed good birdie chances on the second extra hole and the floodlights that can illuminate the back nine holes were turned on before the trio headed back to the 18th.
Hatton looked set to seal victory after a superb pitch to two feet set up a certain birdie, but Schwab holed from 20 feet for a birdie before Kitayama missed from closer range and was eliminated.
Kitayama called it a “tough” ending but “overall great learning experience.”
On the fourth extra hole, Hatton turned away in disbelief after his birdie putt from eight feet to win the title drifted past the edge of the hole.
But moments later he was celebrating victory after Schwab missed from close range for par after getting to the back edge of the green in two.