'I'd Like To Blow It Up' - Hatton Shows No Mercy For Nemesis Hole
The Englishman doubled down on comments calling the 18th at Yas Links "one of the worst par-5s I've ever played"
Tyrrell Hatton was totally unrepentant over his controversial remarks about the closing hole at Yas Links, saying he would “like to blow it up” despite making a birdie in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Hatton sandwiched a seven and a nine with two fours at the 646-yard 18th, and raised plenty of eyebrows by describing it as “one of the worst par-5s I’ve seen in my life”. The defending Abu Dhabi champion might have been expected to have altered his opinion slightly after holing the birdie putt that completed a closing 67 and secured the Englishman a T6 finish at seven-under.
But the fiery character, who rejoices in his nickname of ‘Terrible Tyrrell’, was having none of it. And you have to wonder whether he will even bother to show up for this tournament next year.
He said: “My feelings as I stood on the 18th green was still that I’d like to drop a bomb on that hole, and wipe it off the face of the earth! If it hadn’t been for what happened on 18 on Friday and Saturday this would have been a really good title defence, and I would have been in with a good chance of winning it again.
"But I definitely still think it is an awful hole. Today we were off the very back tees, and you wonder why when you want to encourage aggressive golf, and make it exciting for the spectators.
"I hit a lovely drive over 300 yards down the fairway, but you don’t get rewarded for that because there is no way I can reach the green in two. So I laid up and got up and down from 70 yards - and yes, it’s a birdie, but it’s a bit boring.
"We are meant to be coming back here for the next three years, and I’d love to think there will be a complete re-design of the 18th by next year. But maybe that’s asking too much.”
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Hatton also widened his criticisms by saying the course does not generate anything like the atmosphere the players had become used to at the well-established Abu Dhabi Golf Club, which hosted the event from 2006-2020 – a feeling shared by Rory McIlroy.
Hatton added: “There isn’t the same buzz, and I think a lot of that is down to where the rope lines are. The spectators are way back from the players on a lot of holes. I also think you could hurt an ankle on some of those slopes they have to clamber up and down. So no, it wouldn’t rate as one of my favourite golf courses.”
David brings a wealth of experience to Golf Monthly as a freelance contributor having spent more than two decades covering the game as The Sun's golf correspondent. Prior to that, he worked as a sports reporter for the Daily Mail. David has covered the last 12 Ryder Cups and every Masters tournament since 1999. A popular and highly-respected name in the press tents around the world, David has built close relationships with many of the game's leading players and officials.
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