By ANGELA XU
The Player’s Golf Association (PGA) European tour, an organization that organizes the three different professional golf tours for men in Europe, began their Abu Dhabi Golf Championship from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24. This year, Tyrrel Hatton was announced as the winner of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Tyrrel Hatton and Rory Mcilroy were at each other’s neck constantly between each round in the Abu Dhabi Championship, as it would either be Mcilroy or Hatton in the lead. Despite what many others have said, Tyrrel Hatton deserved his win this week as he beat the former number one ranked golf player in the world, Rory Mcilroy.
Throughout the championship, fans were expecting Mcilroy to win as he has always been a gifted player, even when he first joined the PGA. At the start of this championship, things were looking great for Mcilroy as he led the ranks with several birdies and eagles. However, as the final day of the championship rolled by, Rory Mcilory choked and missed his chance at winning the Abu Dhabi championship; throughout the final round, fans could see Rory putting himself in some hard spots as he struggled to make good shots that would have helped him end each hole in a better manner. In addition, during this entire competition, Mcilroy and Hatton were on each other’s backs constantly, which says something about their skills when in comparison to one another.
Hatton has always been a phenomenal player as he had won the European Tour six times within his career. Although in comparison to Mcilroy, who has 14 European Tour wins under his belt, Hatton started his career much later. In addition, Mcilroy has also competed in major world championships whereas Hatton has not yet been able to experience such an event. Thus, for Hatton to be able to win against Mcilroy is indeed a combination of skill and luck.
Towards the last round of the championship, Mcilroy scored par of 72 and dropped to third place towards the end of the championship. It could arguably be said that Mcilroy had a bad last round as Hatton was striking perfect fairway shots that were heading straight for the green. Mcilroy had some decent drives, but his putting game needed some more practice as he missed some of the most critical putts that could have saved him his title and win.
At the same time, fans need to take into account that, in the past year, Rory Mcilroy has not won a single championship since his win in the 2019 World Golf Championships-HSBC (WGC) championships in Shanghai. In fact, the Golf Digest had addressed the recent frustrations Rory has faced within his losing matches and tournaments within the past year. They came to the conclusion that once Rory Mcilroy starts off with a bad drive, everything else falls into place. For every single one of Rory’s wins, he always starts off with a terrific drive that would set him up well enough so that it would make up for his most critical weakness, consistency around the greens. On the other hand, Hatton has always been a consistent player overall, starting at the tee and ending at the greens.
Many fans had argued that Hatton only received his win by luck, yet they have somehow forgotten golf is a sport that also relies on luck as well not just skill. For example, a hole-in-one is a shot in golf that is based on skill but more importantly, luck. Another example could be when the golf ball hits the cart path and takes the ball to a longer distance. These examples are all instances where one’s luck provides a huge factor on how well the shot will be. Consequently, when individuals argue that Hatton won by pure coincidence, it is not necessarily the complete truth. Although luck may have been a factor to his success, Hatton’s hard work and dedication to the sport ultimately helped him win the championship.
Overall, Tyrrel Hatton deserved his win as he worked just as hard, if not more than any other player out there who competed in the European tour. Hopefully Mcilroy will try to build up more skill around the greens and fans might just see another strong comeback for Rory Mcilroy.