‘I won’t miss 2022’: Top pro offers harsh critique of his season
Tyrrell Hatton wasn’t particularly happy as he came off the course on Thursday at the DP World Tour Championship.
He’d made a mess of his final hole, the par-5 18th, where he drove it into a fairway bunker, advanced it just 34 yards with his second and wound up making bogey 6.
“My head’s a bit fried at the moment. My mind is just raging at the last there. But it is what it is,” Hatton said.
Ah, and did we mention he’s leading the tournament?
That’s right — before the final-hole bogey came eight birdies and zero bogeys in 17 holes. So even Hatton, whose standards aren’t easily met, allowed that it was a “good day” and he “hit a lot of good shots.” His raging mind was a temporary state; no doubt he was pleased to begin with seven-under 65. But no pro likes to walk off No. 18 with a bogey, particularly in a tournament as important as the DP World Tour’s season finale.
Hatton was also asked about his season as a whole. It’s Reflection Season, after all; the final event on the DP World schedule means it’s time to reassess things. To celebrate successes and plan for the future. Rory McIlroy, for instance, was asked about his season on Tuesday and said that he was proud of how his year his been “very consistent.”
As for Hatton?
“I would say consistently very, very average,” he said. “Apart from that good finish at Bay Hill.”
Average for Hatton means something different than it might for other pros. He qualified for the FedEx Cup Playoffs and finished 24th on Tour in total strokes gained for the 2021-22 season. He’s 21st in the DP World Tour’s standings entering this week and has a good chance to improve on that. But it’s been months since that “good finish” in question, which came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Hatton’s first PGA Tour start of 2022. He was coming off a T6 and T4 on the DP World Tour to begin his year, and then he finished T2 in Orlando, a result that sent him to No. 16 in the world.
“I think we were leading [the Dubai] Desert Classic on Saturday afternoon,” he allowed. “So there was a few good events at the start of the year I guess, but then I guess after Bay Hill, it’s been pretty boring. Nothing to get excited about to be honest.”
Honest is, to his credit, Hatton’s only speed. And while he’s right that 2022 hasn’t featured any victories, he has displayed some impressive consistency. Hatton finished T13 at the Players and logged top 10s at the WGC-Match Play, Wyndham Championship, Italian Open and Dunhill Links. He made the cut at all four majors and cracked the top 15 at both the Open and the PGA Championship. He’s made cuts at a particularly impressive clip, too, missing just two in 24 starts. But he has slipped to World No. 29 entering this week; consistency alone isn’t enough to keep pace with the game’s biggest names.
“Although I’ve made a lot of cuts, I think I’ve only missed two cuts this year, I won’t sort of — I won’t miss 2022.”
Then again, he is tied for the lead at the DP World Tour’s season finale. There’s still time to make 2022 a year worth celebrating.
Even by Hatton’s standards.