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Marlow golfer misses out on Open chance
TYRRELL Hatton won’t be at The Open Championship this year after a triple bogey at final qualifying ended his chances of playing Royal Lytham & St Annes next week.
An impressive run of form since turning professional earned the Marlow golfer a direct route to final qualifying.
But in a field of 71 international golfers at St Annes Old Links, he wasn’t able to claim one of the three qualifying spots after an opening round of 75. A 66 in the afternoon proved his ability, but it wasn’t quite enough to make up for his slow start.
Hatton, who did qualify for The Open at St Andrews in 2010, said: “It would have been great to qualify. I’ve played Lytham quite a few times so I know the course well and it would have been exciting to have played The Open there.
“With this weather, it’s been quite difficult to practice lately and I didn’t play the first nine holes that well.
“I played the next 27 really well apart from two holes, but I missed it by three shots.”
The damage was done in the morning.
Starting on the tenth, he began with a bogey and slipped to two over par on the 13th before four birdies in six holes after the turn got him back into contention.
However, a bogey on his second last hole slowed him down before his momemtum ground to shuddering halt with a triple bogey six to finish.
He said: “It was a 170-yard par three. I hit a soft five iron and should have maybe hit a hard six.
“The ball finished on a stone path but it seemed like a good lie so I decided to play it – I’d have had to drop it into a worse position anyway.
“But when I hit it the ball popped up and I double hit it. Sickeningly, it still stayed on the path too.”
Hatton chipped from there to five feet, but that putt missed and a battling round had been smashed apart at the death.
To his credit, Hatton went hell for leather in the afternoon and seven birdies in the first 13 holes – including one on his nemisis hole of the morning – appeared to have salvaged his Open bid.
But a double bogey on 15 knocked him back again and not even his immediate birdie response was enough.
In the end he finished tied for ninth, three behind winner Paul Broadhurst.
However, Hatton hasn’t had much time to wallow.
Tomorrow he tees off in a Challenge Tour event, the Credit Suisse Challenge, in Switzerland.