Tyrrell Hatton has entered the top five of the Race to Dubai rankings after securing his third European Tour title of his career and second in a row at the Italian Open.
The Englishman came out on top at the end of a scintillating final day at the Golf Club Milano in Monza, birdieing the 72nd hole to finish a shot ahead of Ross Fisher and Kiradech Aphibarnrat to claim his first Rolex Series event.
The victory, which comes on the back of his three shot win at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last week, saw the Englishman claim 990,398 points, taking him from 11th to fifth place in the European Tour's Race to Dubai rankings with a season tally of 2,443,181 points.
He’ll now be in contention for the $5million Race to Dubai bonus pool when the top 60 players in the European Tour tee-off at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, which takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 16-19.
Nick Tarratt, Director of the European Tour International Dubai office, said: “Congratulations to Tyrrell on continuing his rich vein of form. He has once again shown the depth of the European Tour and we look forward to welcoming here in Dubai for next month’s season finale, where we’re sure he will start as one of the favourites.”
Hatton came in to the final day of the Italian Open trailing overnight leader Matt Wallace by two shots, a deficit that was doubled at the turn after he managed to make just one birdie on the front nine.
However, he surged in to contention on the back nine with four straight birdies from the 12th hole and after making par on 16 and 17, he coolly rolled in his 15 foot birdie putt on the par four 18th to get to 21 under and clinch the trophy.
"It's amazing to win one but to win back-to-back and defend in two weeks is unbelievable,” said Hatton, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Saturday.
"I knew I needed a low score today, and the front nine was pretty slow and I didn't really get any momentum.
"I was fighting myself, trying to stay patient and J.B, my caddie, was saying 'good things will come. Although I found it hard to believe, I tried to stay patient. In the end, I guess I got my reward.
“The end goal is to get as high as possible up the world rankings. Obviously the last two weeks have helped a lot. To win a Rolex Series event is very special. They are new for this season and all of the players look forward to playing in them.”
Fresh from his course record 61 at St Andrews last week, Ross Fisher enjoyed another successful outing at Golf Club Milano with a tied runner-up finish to join Hatton in the Race to Dubai top five. He’s now in fourth place, picking up 458,830 points in Italy to improve his season tally to 2,452,144.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat finished in a tie for second place with Fisher to all but secure his place in next month’s season finale in Dubai is. The man from Thailand put on an impressive performance in Monzo to leapfrog from 65th to 23rd in the rankings.
Another man who made big strides up the Race to Dubai rankings was England’s Matt Wallace. After holding the lead going in the final round of the tournament, he finished in fourth place to claim to 264,136 points and catapult himself from 130th to 62nd in the season rankings.
Australia’s Marcus Fraser has also given himself a fighting chance to book a tee-time at Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth course next month. He finished the Italian Open in fifth place to move from 136th to 78th spot in the rankings. He’ll know that only a series of strong finishes will help secure a top 60 berth.
Two men who further solidified their position in the rankings after their outing in Italy were George Coetzee and David Horsey. They finished tied for sixth place to move from just inside the top 60 to 41st and 42nd place in the Race to Dubai rankings respectively.