‘I hate it’: Pro vents on Masters hole that ‘lives rent-free in my head’

Tyrrell Hatton reacts to a missed putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

Tyrrell Hatton during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tyrrell Hatton was asked about his birdie putt on 14. But in that moment, he had another hole on his mind. The one up ahead.

“I was trying not to think of 15 until I got there. That hole lives rent-free in my head. I hate it. I absolutely hate it,” said Hatton, speaking to the media after his Sunday 69 in the final round of the Masters. “And I think it hates me with the scores that I end up producing on it. Again, I’ve played that hole in four over this week.”

Hatton actually hasn’t played Augusta National’s par-5 15th hole that badly over the years, despite his struggles this past week.

In his previous seven Masters appearances (24 rounds), he’s played it to a scoring average of 4.88. He’d made no eagles and 10 birdies to go with three bogeys and two doubles there.

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This year, it wasn’t as pleasant. He played the 15th in four over, making his new scoring average on it 5.04 — and over par on any par-5 is not something pro golfers are usually happy with.

The 15th even tormented Hatton in several different ways this week. In the first round, he chunked a wedge into the water. Double bogey. In the second round, he laid up too close to the pond, had an awkward chip that landed 15 feet away on the fringe and then needed three putts from there. Bogey. On Saturday he scrapped laying up, hit his second shot well over the green and it rolled into the pond in front of the 16th tee. Bogey.

Sunday didn’t start much better. Hatton pulled his tee shot left into the trees and immediately dropped his driver. But he was able to punch out, wedge on and two-putt, although he was annoyed he left his approach above the hole, leaving one of the “fastest putts I’ve ever had in my life.”

With his par on 15 on Sunday, Hatton continued one of the best rounds of the day, and he was five under without a bogey with two holes to play. But bogeys on 17 and 18 led to a three-under 69, getting him in at three over for the week.

The bright side? He tied for 9th, meaning he gets an invite back here next year. Afterward, Hatton poked fun at what was just his second Augusta round in the 60s.

“I’ve doubled my tally now for rounds in the 60s,” he said. “I don’t think there’s another golf course in the world that I’ll play 25 times and only shoot in the 60s twice. It’s a really hard golf course, one that I’ve always really struggled on.”

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