Tyrrell Hatton holds off Ross Fisher to retain Dunhill crown

Tyrrell Hatton holds off Ross Fisher to retain Dunhill crown

In an ultimately fruitless but courageous assault on Hatton's five-stroke lead at the start of play, Fisher finally broke the enormous log-jam of 62s that marked the record for the most famous golf course in the world.

The victory is Hatton's second on the European Tour and he now becomes one of four men to successfully defend a trophy for their first two wins.

Gregory Bourdy scraped through his back nine to post 1-under-par 33-38=71 on his way to T4 on 14-under 264 in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the Old Course, St. Andrews.

Just imagine the damage someone like Dustin Johnson could have done on a day like Sunday round there, though McIlroy, admittedly, is another of the game's long-hitters and that didn't seem to do him any good on this occasion. Dubuisson finished with a 63 and was third, seven shots off Hatton.

"It is an unbelievable feeling as this week was the first time I had ever defended a title, so it felt like it was a lot harder winning this year than it was last year", he said. "It felt so much harder than a year ago, 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".

"You nearly want to keep going and I didn't want it to end". I think the format is helping me. "Yeah, hasn't been the year I wanted on the golf course".

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"This is thanks in great part to changes in the golf ball and the distance it travels". "He pushed me all the way and I was very happy to get over the line".

Victor Dubuisson, who'll want to be part of the team in his homeland, produced a fantastic last round of 63 to finish third.

English trio Oliver Fisher, Eddie Pepperell and Luke Donald joined Dunne and Alexander Levy on 13 under, while McIlroy mixed two birdies with two bogeys to end the week in a share of 63rd spot. 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.

"I'm pretty chuffed because after 28 holes this week after Carnoustie on day one and then 10 holes at Kingsbarns, I was four-over-par for the tournament".

Another man who also made significant strides up the season rankings is Robert Rock. I was just trying to get whatever points I could - and I played right to that level where you could just barely miss. "I feel like I'm a much better player now than I was in 2010 and 2012 when I was able to win a couple of majors".