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Old Course Torn Apart As Hatton Defends Dunhill

Ross Fisher set a new course record at St Andrews with a stunning 11-under-par 61 (Photo: Sunshine Tour)
At 47-under-par for eight rounds it was no surprise to see England’s Tyrrell Hatton defending his Dunhill Links Championship title on a day of record scoring at the Old Course at St Andrews.

Hatton posted a final round of 66 to reach 24-under for the week, good for a three-shot victory over fellow Englishman Ross Fisher who set a new course record with an 11-under 61.

Hatton shot 23-under over the Old Course, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie in 2016, his four rounds at St Andrews across the two tournaments adding up to 26-under-par.

The game’s most revered layout was vulnerable in the final round this year with perfect scoring conditions seeing 61 of 68 professionals break par.

Fisher’s 61 bettered the previous course record by one, ironically Hatton one of those who shared that mark after a 10-under 62 in the third-round last year.

Fisher’s round featured 11 birdies, seven of those on the front nine to turn in 29 before adding four more on the back.

Missed birdie chances at both 16 and 18 saw the Englishman miss the opportunity to post the first 59 in European Tour history though it appears only a matter of time before St Andrews yields its first sub 60 score.

The Old Course has a new course record.@RossFisher signs for a 61.  pic.twitter.com/zEvruEpcrC

— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 8, 2017

Third placed Victor Dubuisson also went low Sunday, matching Fisher’s outward 29 and getting to 10-under for the day through 15 holes before an unexpected bogey at 16 killed his momentum.

He finished the day with a 9-under 63 to jump nine places up the standings though at four behind Fisher and seven behind Hatton was never a genuine contender.

Only three of 15 Australians in the field qualified for the weekend, Rhein Gibson finishing the best of them at 10-under and T25, two ahead of Jason Scrivener who was T47.

Sydney’s Matthew Giles was one of only three players to shoot over par Sunday, his 3-over 75 dropping him 28 places down the standings to 66th.

There were no such issues at the top of the leaderboard, new course record holder Fisher understandably pleased with his day’s work despite missing a chance for 59 after driving the 18th green.

"To go out and shoot a score like that with no bogeys, I just saw the lines and was hitting good putts and they were going in," he said after his historic performance.

"You almost want to keep going and I didn't want it to end. At the home of golf I wanted to try and give that putt on the last a try for 59 and just came up a bit shy.

"Unfortunately I've got to sign for a 61 but I'll definitely take it!”

In the teams event cricket legend Shane Warne and partner Ryan Fox of New Zealand were well in the mix deep into Sunday but couldn’t match the fireworks of their final round playing partners Jamie Donaldson and Kieran McManus.

A second nine of 10-under on their way to a 56 saw Donaldson and McManus take the title at 40-under, Fox and Warne sharing fifth place with a 72-hole total of 36-under-par.

SIGNATURE HOLES - 3RD AT LINKS SHELL COVE:

 

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Rod Morri
About The Author : Rod Morri

Rod is an award-winning golf journalist with more than 20 years experience and has covered everything from major tournaments to junior golf at the local level. Rod began his life in the media as a daily news reporter for News Limited in Sydney.

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