A case of deja vu broke out in the final round of the Italian Open. Tyrrell Hatton won for the second week in a row, with fellow Englishman Ross Fisher breathing down his neck for a second straight week.
Hatton came home in 30 strokes at Golf Club Milano to beat Fisher and Kiradech Aphibarnrat for his second straight win following last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship victory. Hatton beat Fisher by three shots last week. This week he pipped him by one.
The 25-year-old returned a second straight 65 for a 21-under 263 winning total to earn the $1.1 million first-place check. Fisher and Aphibarnrat earned $610,000 each.
Fifty-four-hole leader Matt Wallace finished fourth, two shots behind Hatton.
“It was a battle with myself today to be honest,” Hatton said. “I was fighting so hard to stay patient.
Just one birdie on the front nine suggested Hatton might be playing for a place rather than a second straight win. However, he birdied four straight holes from the 12th to get into contention.
“JB, my caddie, was saying, ‘it’ll come, it’ll come.’ It did at the end and I’m over the moon.
“I just can’t believe I’ve won again. I didn’t see a leaderboard, but I knew I needed to make some birdies. I got a hot streak with the putter that helped a lot.”
Hatton needed to hole a 20-foot birdie putt on the last hole to break out of a three-way tie for the lead.
“It was amazing feeling to see that one on the last drop. I sort of lost the plot. I had a good feeling standing over it. My hands were shaking, knees were shaking and I was nervous. That’s the feelings you want to have. To perform and hole the putt when I needed to was amazing.”
Hatton’s game deserted him in the middle of the season after a good start to 2017, and an even better 2016. It called for drastic action with dad Jeff to regain his form.
“It’s amazing how my dad has been my coach. He worked hard with me over the summer when we had a really bad run. People were giving opinions which didn’t really help. We just went back to doing what we do best and we’ve come out the other side. To have back-to-back wins is amazing.”
Fisher returned an 11-under 61 at St. Andrews last week to put pressure on Hatton. This week he closed with a 63 and just came up short.
Fisher’s consolation is a move from sixth on the European money list to fourth. Hatton advances to fifth. They’ve entered the race to finish the year as European No. 1 with current leader Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm, second and third respectively.
Don’t count out either Hatton or Fisher. They’re both in red hot form at just the right time.