TYRELL HATTON broke into a smile worth over two and a quarter million million pounds on the 18th hole – and pleaded with photographers to make sure they captured that rare moment.
The man known as Hothead Hatton, because of his angry tantrums, broke into a huge grin when his low punch from the trees on the final hole scooted along the fairway and screeched to a halt eleven feet from the flag.
APScottie Scheffler is world No1 in golf after winning at Sawgrass[/caption]
AlamyBrit ace Tyrell Hatton banked a cool £2.3m with a second place finish[/caption]
Hatton greeted that wonder shot by yelling: “Look, it’s me smiling on the golf course. Make sure you don’t miss a picture opportunity like that!”
The High Wycombe golfer knocked in the putt for his fifth consecutive birdie, completing a brilliant final round 65 that hoisted him from a share of 26th into solo second at the Players Championship.
In these days of pumped up prize funds, finishing runner-up to runaway winner Scottie Scheffler was worth a cool £2.26million.
That was almost £1million more than he banked for winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational three years ago.
Hatton’s seven under par closing round was three shots better than anyone else in the field, and he became the first player to shoot 29 on the back nine on the final day of the tournament.
Scheffler responded to Hatton’s back nine spree by also rattling off five birdies in a row around the turn.
His closing 69 gave him a five shot victory over Hatton at 17 under par, and as well as picking up a cheque for £3.75million he reclaimed the world No 1 spot from Jon Rahm.
Hatton, 31, was happy enough with his runner-up finish – especially after hitting a ball in the water at the ninth to slip to his only bogey.
He said: “Considering where I was at the start of the back nine – probably tied 34th or something like that – if you had said that you were going to finish second, I think you would definitely take that.”
Fellow Englishman Aaron Rai also left Sawgrass with plenty of happy memories – even though the 17th hole came back to bite him a day after his memorable hole in one at the iconic Island Hole.
Rai’s Saturday ace guaranteed himself a place in Players Championship folklore.
It meant the 17th had witnessed two holes in one for the first time in the tournament’s 49 year history, after Hayden Buckley’s first round effort.
And Rai, 28, also became the first golfer to play the famous finishing holes birdie-eagle-birdie, as he proved his hole out was no fluke.
That achievement had American golf fans wondering just who Rai is – a sentiment that is probably shared by plenty of people in the UK!
The Wolverhampton golfer won twice in Europe before earning his PGA Tour card a couple of years ago, and basing himself mainly in the States.
He was also on target for a bumper pay day – until his return to the 17th saw him dump his tee shot into the water and run up a triple bogey six.
That sent him crashing from a share of sixth place into a tie for 19th – and cost him over £500,000.
A nine under par finish would have been worth just under £750,000. But he had to settle for £225,000.
But he will never forget that ace at 17.