Britain's Hatton on best major form entering Masters

Augusta (United States) (AFP) –


Britain's Tyrrell Hatton, coming off a victory last month at Wentworth, says he has never been on better form entering a major championship than he is for this week's Masters.

The 29-year-old Englishman, who has five top-10 major finishes, won last month's BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour and at Bay Hill in March in the last event before the US PGA's three-month Covid-19 shutdown.

"For me, 2020 on the golf course has been a very special year," Hatton said Tuesday. "Coming into a major, this is the best form I've had. We have to see how I get along this week."

World number nine Hatton missed the cut in his 2017 Masters debut, shared 44th in 2018 and 56th last year. But he has no plans to alter his aggressive style for Augusta National.

"I won't change how I try to play. I'm a fairly aggressive player," he said. "In previous years, my short game hasn't been too good. My putting is normally a strength for me and I've putted pretty horribly here.

"I have some confidence and hopefully I can carry that into this week."

Hatton missd the cut at the US Open in September and PGA Championship in August but has found success in other events thanks to right wrist surgery.

"I've been pain-free for the whole year after the wrist surgery last year," Hatton said. "I've been training in the gym this year which is something I haven't done this much previously.

"I'm pretty happy with how things have gone so far, other than missing the cut at both majors."

Hatton isn't feeling extra tension because it's a major.

"I can be hard on myself," he said. "I don't try and treat the majors differently in putting pressure on myself than I do the PGA events, trying to shoot the best score I can.

"If I can keep myself calm and in a good place, there's no reason I can't go out and have a good week here. At the same time, I realize the majors haven't been great this year."

Even so, he's confident enough in his form on the greens to avoid extra putting practice at Augusta National.

"I feel like I've actually been hitting the lines I want to hit," Hatton said. "I don't need to just stand on the putting green for an hour and hit putts through... I'd rather be on the course anyway."

He's also in a familiar house, which helped produce a winning formula at Bay Hill and Wentworth.

"Sometimes I can be a little high strung," Hatton said. "I'm hoping I can be in a good place this week. I feel fine so far."

Hatton, who plans to wear his trademark hoodie if conditions are cool enough, will miss spectators this week with the Masters played behind closed doors due to Covid-19.

"There'll be some atmosphere missing with the fans not being here this week," he said. "At the same time, you know what you are playing for and you have to look out for yourself."