Cape Town - Tyrrell Hatton is looking to find his very best form again
as he prepares to defend his Italian Open title this week at Gardagolf Country
The Englishman arrived for the Rolex Series event last
season off the back of a victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and
made it back-to-back victories as part of a remarkable run of results.
memories being back here. It's a new venue. Looking forward to it and hopefully
I can put up a good defence," said Hatton.
"I caught a hot streak and it was certainly a good
time to do it with the Ryder Cup points starting off so it was a nice start. It
would nice to recapture some of that form again."
Hatton achieved 12 consecutive top 20s on the European Tour
in between the Major's the US PGA Championship and the Masters Tournament, including those
two victories, with three World Golf Championships on that list of high
His stellar play got him as high as 13th in the Official
World Golf Ranking and with a seven million dollar prize fund on offer this
week, a successful defence would have him back on an upward trajectory in a
Ryder Cup year.
The opening Rolex Series event of the season last week was
a disappointment for Hatton as he missed the cut at the European PGA Championship.
The 26-year-old was nursing a wrist injury at Wentworth Club, however, and is
looking to bounce back in style now he is pain-free.
"Wentworth was a tough week. It wasn't ideal
preparation prior to that where I'd had a bit of an issue with my wrist again,
I needed a cortisone injection so it didn't really give me any time to practise
the week prior to Wentworth. I was going in there a little bit rusty, just
hoping that I could still play well and it didn't really work out," said Hatton.
"I've had the weekend to carry on practising and
trying to feel comfortable again. it's gradually getting there, I'm pain-free
which is a good thing so now I can play pain free I can try and get comfortable
again and hopefully I can play some good golf.
"I've heard it's a beautiful place, I look forward to
playing nine holes a bit later and seeing it," said the Englishman.
Hatton will have to overcome an Italian Open field bursting
with quality to successfully defend this week.
Following his victory at Wentworth last week, Francesco
Molinari will shoulder the majority of the burden of expectation from an
adoring Italian golfing public, while Race to Dubai Champion Tommy Fleetwood,
Rafa Cabrera Bello, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter are among the international
stars to have descended upon the stunning Lake Garda venue this week.