Hatton successfully defends Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title at St Andrews

Jay Jacobs
October 11, 2017

Sunday saw some incredible scoring at St Andrews at the Dunhill Links Championship as Ross Fisher broke the Old Course's record with an 11-under-par 61 and Victor Dubuisson nearly matched him with a nine-under 63.

Hatton, who turns 26 next Saturday, did not drop a shot over his last 54 holes, a blistering run that gave him a second career Tour title and will lift him to 22nd in the world rankings.

Hatton, whose temperament has been questioned at times, spoke about how much he enjoyed having actor Jamie Dornan alongside him again during the tournament, just as he had past year, saying that their chats between holes helped to keep him relaxed.

Fisher carded seven birdies on the front nine and hit four more successive birdies from the 12th to stand at 11 under, but fell short of the magical figure as he parred the final three holes.

Ross Fisher set a new course record with an 11-under 61 to claim second.

Howell finished in tied 162nd place with a score for the tournament of 14 over-par.

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Hatton leads Gregory Bourdy by five strokes heading into Sunday.

South African great Gary Player had mixed views on Fisher's feat, however, emphasising that modern-day equipment has made it easier for players to post lower scores. It was a shame not to birdie the last, but I'm not going to complain too much with a 61.

The Englishman repeated his fine second-round showing to take control in his bid to become the first back-to-back victor in the tournament's 17-year history. It felt like it was a lot harder today than it was a year ago. "He pushed me all the way and I was very happy to get over the line".

English trio Oliver Fisher, Eddie Pepperell and Luke Donald joined Dunne and Alexander Levy on 13 under, while McIlroy mixed two birdies with two bogeys to end the week in a share of 63rd spot.

The Broome Manor pro had already collected four bogeys before reaching the 16th hole, but the Swindon Star went downhill further with a pair of double bogeys on the par five 16th and par four 17th. "That made the 17th tee shot a lot harder". "I didn't feel great over the ball". Dubuisson finished with a 63 and was third, seven shots off Hatton.

"I'm definitely going to try to not do that this year and just really move forward and try to win as many tournaments as I can and get myself into contention in majors and do all the things that everybody wants to do out here".

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