Jordan Spieth Praises Tyrrell Hatton
Jordan Spieth has been speaking to the PGA Tour about the similarities he sees between himself and Tyrrell Hatton. One thing is for sure - both of them know how to chunter!
Spieth says that he has been deeply impressed by the determination, confidence and competitiveness that helped Hatton break into the world's top five. The American’s long struggle finally appears to be coming to an end after a series of encouraging results. He has tumbled down the world rankings since the heady days when he won The Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017 - his last victory anywhere.
Spieth dropped to 92nd in the world rankings after he missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, but three top-four finishes and a tie for 15th at Riviera Country Club have galvanised the three-time major champion.
The former world No 1 believes that his new-found confidence will end that drought in the manner that Hatton secured his maiden PGA Tour title in brutal conditions in Orlando last year,
"I see similarities to me, when I feel like I'm playing well," Spieth said of Hatton. "It's not going to be the longest, it's not going to be the prettiest way to do it, but the guy's going to compete and he's going to get the ball in the hole faster than the other people and that's really the job.
"He's a very good driver of the golf ball, and every part of his game is solid. I don't know his game extremely well, but he's obviously able to win just about anywhere in the world and he's proven that now.
"But he's just a competitor. I mean, it's hard to kind of, that just comes naturally to people and he's one of those guys that possesses that kind of, that inner confidence and that competitiveness that, if things get a little off, he's going to save par. But when things are on, he's going to continue to ride that momentum.
"And I think just the fact that the overall state of his game, he does everything well and when he's doing something really well, he's in contention or wins. He's someone that you can tell wants it really badly out there.
"I wouldn't consider our personalities to be matching, but in that way, in how bad you want it when you're out there, regardless if there's a microphone or a camera on you, I'm going to fist pump when it's a big putt, I'm just really involved in the round and it's just, I guess, kind of just having your personality for sure."
Hatton's victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was the last time a capacity crowd attended the final round of a professional golf tournament, as the coronavirus pandemic forced worldwide sport to halt the following week, just one round into The Players Championship.
And the Englishman says he struggles to remember what the atmosphere was like 12 months ago. "It's kind of hard to remember the cheers, really," he said. "We have played a lot of golf since then with obviously no fans and I have achieved some success. But it has been nice to have a limited number of fans out there again, just to kind of give a bit more of an atmosphere and hopefully I can continue to give them all something to cheer about.”
He certainly didn’t do that during the first round at Bay Hill. Statistically, it is the toughest course the PGA Tour visits, and Hatton had a nightmare, running up a 77. There was a time in his career when he might well have given up, but he is a different animal these days and battled back brilliantly with a second round of 67, an improvement of 10 shots, to comfortably make the cut. He followed it with a 66 to play himself to the fringe of contention but his efforts caught up with him in the final round, when he took a further 77 blows to finish in a tie for 21st place. Look to him to bounce back at Sawgrass this week.
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