By Michael Weston published
Tyrrell Hatton insists Europe do not need to make “any drastic changes” in order to bounce back from the chastening defeat at Whistling Straits last September.
After the highs of Paris in 2018, where they thumped a sorry US side 17.5-10.5, Padraig Harrington’s team were handed a mauling of their own in Wisconsin – but Hatton is opposed to making any radical changes.
Europe’s qualifying system, which climaxed at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth less than two weeks before the Ryder Cup got underway, has been roundly criticised, with many suggesting an overhaul is needed in order to give the captain the strongest possible team.
However, Hatton, who fared better than most of his teammates last year, taking one-and-a-half points from his four matches, is calling for calm.
“I don’t think they need to rip it up,” he said. “Obviously the Ryder Cup, the last years, has sort of been going with the home team. I don't think they need to necessarily make any drastic changes when Europe have done well in the Ryder Cup.”
The 2023 contest in Rome is a long way off, and Hatton’s focus, for now at least, is on the season ahead – and he’s keen to make up for a “disappointing” second half of 2021.
After winning in Abu Dhabi and climbing to a career high of fifth in the world, the 30-year-old Englishman recorded just two more top-10 finishes.
However, one of these came at the Saudi International, where he finished in a tie for sixth, and he can't wait to get back out to the Middle East.
“It'll be interesting to see how we start this year. It would be nice to kind of get back to playing the golf that I was playing the last half of 2020 and early last year," he added.
“I'm just focusing on starting my season in the Middle East and playing some PGA Tour events in March and building up to the Masters. That's all I think us players can really focus on to start the season. It's time to get in the best possible place you can to go and have a good start.
"It’s a little bit of an unknown when you start the season even though you're sort of trying to get back into preparing at least a couple of weeks before you go play. You're almost kind of feeling your own game out when you get to the Middle East.”
Hatton also admits that Dry January has left him feeling a touch “miserable”, so he's excited to get going again.
“I actually flew to Orlando on New Year's Eve,” he added. “I just felt like I needed to kind of get back into training, which is something I haven't really done in the last five, six months, so I thought that I'd try and use the first two weeks of January to try and get into a better routine. You'd probably say I've drunk my fair share anyway. I'd say that I enjoyed my time off."
Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.
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