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The Sentry

Tyrrell Hatton in contention despite travel woes and body aches

January 05, 2024
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Tyrrell Hatton plays an approach shot on the fourth hole during the second round of The Sentry.

Michael Reaves

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Tyrrell Hatton being in tournament contention has become routine over the past five years, but his name atop The Sentry’s leaderboards this week is somewhat surprising considering his troubles getting here.

Hatton took the clubhouse lead early Friday thanks to an 11-under 62, a career-best score for the Englishman. It was highlighted by a 30 on the back and an eagle at the 18th. Hatton is normally hard on himself, even in success, but he agreed it was a special display … mostly because he feels like hell from this trip.

“If I'm being honest, body didn't feel great, and tee to green wasn't, didn't feel amazing,” Hatton said Friday at the Plantation course. “I had a mad day on the greens. Every putt I seemed to look at went in, which is a nice feeling.”

Hatton explained his body was feeling stiff, which sounds pretty generic and doesn’t exactly help the “Are golfers athletes?” argument. But Hatton has a reasonable excuse for being banged up, his trip from England to Hawaii taking close to 26 hours door-to-door, which included some wait time on the runway thanks to mechanical issues.

“Heathrow [airport] to L.A., then we had a three-hour stop over in L.A., sat on that plane for 90 minutes,” Hatton explained, “so you have to get off that plane, wait another hour and a half to get on another plane. Then you fly from L.A. here and land, yeah, about four hours later or three hours later than you had planned.”

Not helping matters was that Hatton admittedly is not in the best of shape following the holidays. “I wouldn't say I looked after myself in the December period, maybe that played a part,” Hatton said, smiling. “Yeah, so body hasn't been moving well. I'm sure if you had seen some flight tracers of some of my tee shots you would be disgusted.”

Hatton is being a tad hard on himself, as he still had a positive SG/approach figure on the afternoon. However, he beat his Round 1 score by seven shots, thanks to his putting, gaining more than 3.4 strokes on the green Friday. That didn’t account for a 97-foot putt he dropped just off the putting surface on 18, allowing Hatton to finish five under on his final four holes.

“I guess it shows how much of a stupid game it is,” Hatton said. “Obviously, I putted amazing today, that's the big thing for how my score ended up as low as it was. Yeah, with how bad my body felt, I'm surprised that, going out this morning, that score was just not even entering my mind.”

It will be interesting to see how Hatton fares this weekend now that he’s loosened up. The feeling may be short-lived, though. After playing down the road at the Sony Open next week, he’s making the trip to Dubai, then to Orlando before heading to California for the West Coast Swing.

“I mean, I'm a plank of wood as it is, by the end of that trip it's going to be brutal,” Hatton said.