Wednesday, 03 October 2018
Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey  (Getty Images)
Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey (Getty Images)

It was here in Scotland Tyrrell Hatton's journey towards becoming a Ryder Cup winner started. Here he relives his experiences of being part of Team Europe on the week he returns to St Andrews to defend his Alfred Dunhill Links title.

My journey to Paris and The Ryder Cup started here last year when I made a really good start to qualification. I had known for a while that I was looking good to make the team, but it was when we got to the hotel in Paris last Monday when it all really hit home. You see all your clothes laid out for the week and you try it on. I got goosebumps. You feel like this is it. It's pretty special. From that moment to the last it was an incredible week.

The Monday was very relaxed. Guys were traveling in from the States and we all just chilled at the hotel. It was clear from the start that we all got on well. Having little conversations in the team room with the experienced boys like Poults and Rory was really helpful. I found the role of the Vice Captains very important also. The experience in the team room was so important. Everyone got on so well throughout the week. There was such a good vibe in the team room. Everyone was talking with everyone and we all had a really good time.

Tuesday was kind of a tough day as our practice round took over six hours. You're quite tired, you're signing autographs between greens and tees and that takes a lot of time given the number of fans. You then find yourself rushing when you eventually get to the tee. None of us left Tuesday evening having played that well. They set the course up pretty tough, the rough was brutal but it was a course we all knew pretty well from playing the French Open. it was a course we all felt quite comfortable on and thankfully it worked out for us.

We teed off the first hole on Wednesday practice round and it was already loud. As we walked down the fairway we turned around and saw the grandstand empty, people were just stood around the back of the tee. It already sounded loud and we could only imagine the noise that would be waiting for us on Friday morning. It didn't disappoint.

What an atmosphere to play in.

I thought I was going to be a lot more nervous than I was. My Dad was there who is obviously my coach and the swing looked good, the club was in good positions and my warm-up went really well which helped settle me down. I walked to the first tee and stood there with confidence. You're so determined to hit a good drive in front of all the fans. I love playing in front of big crowds and it was a week that you have to enjoy. They don't come around too often and it's fair to say that I loved my week, my first Ryder Cup.

We're always trying to hit good shots but more so last week. You want to rip it down the middle on every hole, hit it as close as possible and for me walking on every green you imagine holing your putt because of the roars you're going to get. We fought back well on Friday after being three down and making it go to 18. We knew we needed to win the hole. It was a tough wind, into out left, playing 215 yards over water. I hit a perfect four iron but at a pin you wouldn't normally go at. It wasn't enough unfortunately but it was nice to know I was able to hit those shots when it mattered. That match maybe summed up my week. I hit it well just didn't hole enough putts.

It took me a while, until the eighth hole on the second morning before I holed any putts of any note – then I got goosebumps after holing that. The reception that you get and all the support you have out there is very special. I did feel under pressure to deliver points but we all wanted to do our best for the team. We're all desperate to do that. All the matches are tough but to beat Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler on Saturday morning, to secure my first Ryder Cup point was amazing. Paul Casey really got us going in the match before my putt on the eighth green. I ended up playing well for the rest of the match and to win that point for the team was amazing.

It almost looked like a stampede as the celebrations got underway. I was playing in the group behind the Molinari against Mickelson match on Sunday. Frankie had just won the winning point on 16 while I played 15. Getting up to the 16th tee was an experience. The crowd had taken the tee markers so we were playing using the dots on the grass which I haven't had to do before! Patrick Reed played great to beat me and was a gentleman at the end of the match.

During the celebrations, I almost stayed dry until Rory and Poults tracked me down. They're just special moments you'll never forget. Being able to celebrate with the team together after an amazing week, after beating such a fantastic US team and to hold that trophy was very special.

This was a special team and it felt an honour to be a part of it. The guys were saying at the start of the week, once you play your first Ryder Cup you don't ever want to miss another one. You try and think what it might be like but when you experience it, it knocks it out the ballpark. It's amazing and I'll be doing everything to experience it again in two years’ time.

You can follow Tyrrell on Twitter and Instagram.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T2HATTON, TyrrellENG18-14
T5LI, HaotongCHN18-10
T5PAVAN, AndreaITA18-10

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