Another top 10 for Dunne as Hatton enters Alfred Dunhill history books

Another top 10 for Dunne as Hatton enters Alfred Dunhill history books
 Tyrrell Hatton of England celebrates victory with the trophy on the Swilken Bridge following the final round of the 2017 Alfred Dunhill Championship at The Old Course on October 8, 2017 in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tyrrell Hatton of England celebrates victory with the trophy on the Swilken Bridge following the final round of the 2017 Alfred Dunhill Championship at The Old Course on October 8, 2017 in St Andrews, Scotland. Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Paul Dunne notched his fifth top-10 of the season as Graeme McDowell recorded his best finish since March in the Alfred Dunhill Links.

As Tyrrell Hatton wrote his name into the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship history books by becoming the first player to successfully defend the title, closing out a three-shot victory at the famous Old Course at St Andrews, Dunne shot a final round 70 to share seventh place.

The Greystones man picked up €93,955 after finishing 11 strokes behind Hatton (66) on 13-under par at St Andrews as McDowell shot 67 to finish tied 15th (€50,385) for his best finish worldwide since he was tied 14th in the Valspar Championship in March.

Shane Lowry tied for 25th on 10-under after a 69 (€36,142) with Gavin Moynihan carding a 68 to share 47th on eight under (€17,444).

Rory McIlroy closed with a listless 72, the second worst score of the day, to end his first winless season since his first full season in 2008 with a share of 63rd on four-under.

He admits he has a lot of work to do to get back to world No 1.

And while his previous returns to the coalface have yielded mixed results — aspects of the game he does not enjoy have occasionally proved challenging for him in practice — he knows he has no choice now if he is to compete with what he described as a bunch of “hungry guys now that are fearless.” 

They do not even include Hatton, 25, who entered the final round with a five-stroke advantage, chipped in for par after a visit to the burn at the first and never looked back.

Four consecutive birdies from the second extended his lead to seven shots and he eventually shot 66 to win by three on 24-under par from Ross Fisher, who carded 11 birdies in a blistering, course record 61.

Hatton now joins Padraig Harrington, winner in 2002 and 2006, as the only other multiple winner of the unique pro-am tournament.

Victor Dubuisson of France was ten under par through 15 holes and - much like Fisher at one point - on course to card the first ever 59 on the European Tour.

However, he bogeyed the 16th and signed for a 63 to finish in third place on 17 under par. 

His countryman Grégory Bourdy was one shot further back alongside England's Robert Rock and Marc Warren of Scotland.

Tyrrell Hatton

"Obviously I’m very happy. This week was the first time I had ever defended a title or had the chance to try and do it. You know, it felt like it was a lot harder this year, well, winning this year, than it was last year. I'm so happy that I managed to get over the line.

"I didn't see a leaderboard on the back nine until the 16th green, when I saw he (Ross Fisher) was at 21 and I was thinking how well he was going today. So you know, fair play to Fish. It was an incredible round of golf, and he certainly did push me all the way.

"I'm not a very technical person with the golf swing or things like that. I like to keep things really simple. That's what I went back to after the US PGA, and, you know, obviously I've got a new caddie on the bag at the moment, my good friend, Jonathan. He's done a great job since we started working together in Switzerland. I think having a friend on the bag is keeping me relaxed. I feel so much more comfortable with my game.

"I played with Jamie (Dornan) last year, and we had a good time and it was good fun. I was happy that we could play again this year. Obviously, it's a winning formula which helps me, so perhaps he should play with me every week. But no, obviously it was great fun to have him here, and we get on really well. Hopefully, we can do it again next year."

Ross Fisher

"I knew we were starting off kind of playing for second. Obviously, Tyrrell had a big lead but after my performance yesterday, I felt like there was a good one in me today around here, because you saw the forecast, and it was still a bit chilly but there wasn't much breeze.

"When you get St Andrews on a day like this, it's definitely doable, but you still have to hit the shots. I got off to a fast start and managed to make some good putts early on. It was a shame not to birdie the last for a 60, but I'm not going to complain too much with a 61.

"Just wanted to come out here and put in a good performance, and if I could, try and repeat last year finishing tied second. But you know, hats off to him (Tyrrell). To win your first tournament here at the Home of Golf is fantastic, but to back it up and successfully defend around these three courses is pretty unique and very, very special. All credit to Tyrrell this week.”

Victor Dubuisson

"I played amazingly like the rest of the week but today it feels like all the putts went in. Today I made two long putts and was really solid. The only regrets I have is I started to think about the 59 on 16 and I had a bad 3-putt.

"The last eight months were like the worst months of putting I've ever had. I felt like my game was okay, but you know, the putts you make for par don't go in, and then a few putts don't drop for birdie; it turns your round of 68 into 74, 75, all the time.

"Doing this in St Andrews on a Sunday, it's really special. You know, the worst part in it is, I realised only at the half of the season that my exemption was up this year. I think next year I will play much more events and focus more on playing many events in a row to keep the form."

Final scores

264 T Hatton (Eng) 68 65 65 66,

267 R Fisher (Eng) 71 68 67 61,

271 V Dubuisson (Fra) 74 66 68 63,

274 M Warren (Sco) 70 71 67 66, G Bourdy (Fra) 70 67 66 71, R Rock (Eng) 71 68 69 66,

275 L Donald (Eng) 70 70 66 69, Paul Dunne (Irl) 67 68 70 70, O Fisher (Eng) 68 71 71 65, E Pepperell (Eng) 72 69 69 65, A Levy (Fra) 70 69 68 68,

276 S Gallacher (Sco) 72 67 70 67, B Evans (Eng) 69 68 72 67, J Lagergren (Swe) 69 67 71 69,

277 M Siem (Ger) 69 66 74 68, Graeme McDowell (Nir) 69 71 70 67, C Syme (Sco) 72 70 69 66, H Porteous (RSA) 74 71 65 67, N Bertasio (Ita) 70 69 71 67, B Stone (RSA) 71 67 71 68, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 70 66 71 70, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 73 68 68 68, R Wattel (Fra) 70 68 70 69, D Drysdale (Sco) 69 67 72 69,

278 Shane Lowry (Irl) 68 75 66 69, J Morrison (Eng) 71 69 72 66, N Fasth (Swe) 73 65 71 69, N Colsaerts (Bel) 67 67 73 71, G Stal (Fra) 72 67 70 69, B Dredge (Wal) 70 70 69 69, B Ritthammer (Ger) 70 66 71 71, P Hanson (Swe) 71 72 68 67, R Gibson (Aus) 70 72 68 68, T Fleetwood (Eng) 70 63 76 69, A Rai (Eng) 70 70 71 67,

279 D Horsey (Eng) 75 70 66 68, G Havret (Fra) 70 69 69 71, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 73 70 69 67, L Canter (Eng) 72 69 71 67, D Frittelli (RSA) 70 71 70 68, M Kaymer (Ger) 71 71 67 70, R Gouveia (Por) 71 71 67 70, A Chesters (Eng) 71 69 70 69, J Wang (Kor) 69 71 72 67, G Storm (Eng) 75 69 67 68, J Luiten (Ned) 70 69 71 69,

280 J Scrivener (Aus) 72 71 69 68, J Ahlers (RSA) 71 69 70 70, M Ilonen (Fin) 74 67 67 72, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 69 70 70, Gavin Moynihan (Irl) 70 70 72 68, R Bland (Eng) 73 65 73 69, G Coetzee (RSA) 69 73 69 69, L Johnston (Sco) 72 70 70 68, B Grace (RSA) 70 69 72 69,

281 S Gregory (Eng) 71 71 70 69, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 74 67 70 70, J Quesne (Fra) 71 69 72 69,

282 R Sterne (RSA) 72 75 65 70, U Van Den Berg (RSA) 73 68 71 70, M Wallace (Eng) 69 67 74 72, J Holmes (USA) 73 66 72 71,

284 B Hebert (Fra) 69 72 71 72, L Jensen (Den) 71 69 72 72, Rory McIlroy (Nir) 73 71 68 72,

285 M Giles (Aus) 73 67 70 75,

286 D Fichardt (RSA) 74 68 69 75,

287 A Michael (RSA) 73 65 74 75.