DEREK LAWRENSON: Why Marmite Man Tyrrell Hatton is to my taste

DEREK LAWRENSON: Marmite Man Tyrrell Hatton gets up people’s noses by speaking the truth… he can’t help it but the day he stops, it will be one more reason to watch another game

  • Tyrrell Hatton had said he would like to demolish the par five 18th at Yas Links 
  • The Englishman played an aggregate of 16 shots in the second and third rounds
  • But Hatton rallied to finish joint sixth at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday

Tyrrell Hatton was at it again this weekend, making big headlines and dividing opinion with his outspoken comments.

Where do you stand on the Englishman – fed up with his extravagant theatrics and no-filter remarks, or thanking the heavens there’s at least someone speaking out in a game that is increasingly vanilla?

The 29-year-old certainly gets up people’s noses. Even Thomas Bjorn, the once-explosive Dane who Hatton played under at the 2018 Ryder Cup, appeared to have a pop on Sunday evening.

England’s Tyrrell Hatton simply speaks the truth and the game of golf is far better for it

Hatton had cheerfully revealed he would like to demolish the par five 18th at Yas Links, a hole he had played in an aggregate of 16 shots in the second and third rounds of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Praising the new venue, Bjorn finished with a pithy remark seemingly aimed in Hatton’s direction: ‘I thought the second was a good hole, even though I had two sevens on it.’

Here’s my take: Hatton would be a lot less interesting if all there was to him was a golfer who spoke his mind only when blowing his top. 

In fact, the fascinating thing about him, given all his gesturing and melodrama on the course, is he doesn’t blow his top when he’s off it, no matter how he has scored.

Hatton (right) had cheerfully revealed he would like to demolish the par five 18th at Yas Links

As it happens, I was the only journalist who spoke to him on Saturday after he concluded with his nine. I even disturbed his lunch – if I’d done that in similar circumstances to Bjorn in his prime or Hatton’s hero Colin Montgomerie I’d have been frogmarched off the premises.

Far from ‘fuming’ or ‘furious’, Hatton was composed and courteous. ‘How’s your day?’ he asked, with a wry smile.

On the 18th, rather than a spur of the moment rant, his response was both witty and self-deprecating. 

‘I think it’s one of the worst par fives I’ve seen in my life and, over the past two days, I’ve played it about as well as it was designed,’ he said.

Hatton didn’t sulk or dial it in after that blow-up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Unlike many golfers who don’t like a course, Hatton didn’t sulk or dial it in after that blow-up. He played with the pride of a defending champion on Sunday and finished joint sixth.

Ever done well on another golf course you don’t like, he was asked. 

‘Well, I’m not a big fan of Carnoustie or Kingsbarns and I seem to do quite well there,’ said the two-time winner of the Dunhill Links Championship. Who else would dare criticise those two venerable Scottish venues, let alone someone who has won there?

The truth of the matter is that Hatton speaks simply the truth of the matter. He can’t help himself. 

The day he stops, or the day he takes notice of his detractors and tones it down, will be one more reason to watch another game.

Former world No 1 Luke Donald has all the credentials to be the Team Europe captain


In the aftermath of the Ryder Cup humiliation at Whistling Straits last year, it seemed what Europe required as their next captain was a tub-thumping populist who would get the crowd going. Heck, get the team going.

Now the clear frontrunner is a thoughtful Englishman in the mould of a Bernhard Langer or Paul McGinley. 

Given the team is likely to have a transfusion of quiet Scandinavians – or, at least, let’s hope it does if Europe are to have any chance – why not the former world No 1 Luke Donald, cut from a similar cloth? 

It was interesting to hear Padraig Harrington’s unequivocal support for Donald last week. Totally unsolicited it was, too. 

And how refreshing to hear someone with impeccable credentials stick his hand up and say, with complete abandon: I want the job.

The five-man selection committee will meet some time over the next month or so and I admit Harrington has made me change my mind. Time for Europe to place their faith in the quiet man.


Meat Loaf finds that heaven can’t wait after all and Ian Woosnam calls time, after several false starts, on his glorious days at the Masters. What a week for golf and music fans of a certain age.

Even now, after all these years and so many great players, I’d still put Woosie comfortably in my all-time top 10 to watch. 

His finest moment, of course, came at Augusta National in 1991, when the locals were giving him grief because they wanted Tom Watson to win. Little did they know they were playing into the Welshman’s hands.

Like a bat out of hell he swept past the great man, falling to one knee and punching the air with a triumphant uppercut after holing the winning putt. It hardly seems credible now but it was the fourth successive British win. Paradise, indeed, by the early evening light.

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