Gary Player: Sad to see Old Course 'brought to her knees'
11 October, 2017, 00:27 | Author: Laverne Higgins
But in flawless, benign conditions for scoring, what had seemed nearly inevitable in this event for years finally happened.
And compatriot Ross Fisher didn't do badly either, also establishing a record, a mind-blowing 11-under-par 61 during the final round - the lowest 18-hole return in, give or take 600 years of golf at "The Old Course", to take second place on 267.
In the end, that was nearly an anti-climax.
The 36-year-old Englishman was closing in on a remarkable round of 59 at the Old Course when he drove to the edge of the green at the 18th, only to require three putts from the hollow known as the Valley of Sin.
Fisher, who played himself into contention by gaining six shots in his last seven holes on Saturday, maintained his sizzling form by threatening to close with a record-breaking 59.
Bourdy made four birdies in a row from the third in a 66 at Carnoustie, while Dunne - who claimed a first professional win at last week's British Masters - had three birdies and a bogey in a 70 at Kingsbarns.
"This week was the first time I've ever defended a title or had the challenge to do it", he said. Maybe that's just a bit more pressure on myself but I'm so happy that I managed to defend it and what a great week again. A par on the 16th hole, followed by a nifty up-and-down par save on the 17th (see below) left Fisher needing to eagle the drivable par-4 18th to break 60.
"What a great round of golf from Fish, it's awesome", Hatton told the European Tour. He's poised to do the same in 2017, in even more impressive fashion. "Unfortunately I've got to sign for a 61 but I'll definitely take it!"
Starting on the back nine, he birdied the 10th, 12th and 14th, hit a brilliant approach to the first and then did well to get up and down from a bunker on the third.
"I caught fire a bit on the back nine as well". "I've had a solid game the last few weeks but the results were not so good".
He didn't really entertain any thoughts of catching Hatton, who was eight ahead of him in the morning. But hats off to him.
Four-time European Tour victor Gregory Bourdy posted four consecutive birdies on his back nine at Carnoustie to sit second, with British Masters victor Paul Dunne two shots behind him in third.
Howell finished in tied 162nd place with a score for the tournament of 14 over-par.
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