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Tyrrell Hatton believes it would be “mega” to become the first English winner of the Open on home soil for more than half a century.
Sir Nick Faldo has lifted the Claret Jug three times since Tony Jacklin’s victory at Royal Lytham in 1969, but all of those wins – two at Muirfield and one at St Andrews – came in Scotland.
Hatton saw at close quarters the atmosphere generated by having a home player in contention when he finished sixth behind Shane Lowry at Portrush in 2019 and would love to be part of similar scenes next week at Royal Liverpool.
“It would be mega,” Hatton said during the Genesis Scottish Open. “When Shane won at Portrush a few years ago the scenes were just epic.
“It would obviously be great. Even if it wasn’t myself, it would be nice to see another Englishman in that position walking up the 18th.
“With the likes of Tommy [Fleetwood] and I, it’s not something we would necessarily speak about away from the golf course. But there are obviously certain things you don’t need to say.
“You could see it in Canada [the RBC Canadian Open] when we were able to stick around and watch Tommy in the play-off. You want to see your friends do well and hope they can go on and win.”
Hatton’s early record in the Open was nothing to write home about as he missed the cut on his first four starts, but he was fifth at Troon in 2016, sixth in 2019 and 11th last year.
The 31-year-old also won the Dunhill Links Championship in 2016 and 2017 – and was second the following year – and said: “The experience is definitely there for me now. It’s a case of me going out and trying my best.
“If I go there and play well, I feel like I will definitely give myself a chance.
“Potentially the Open is my best chance of winning a major, but I wouldn’t want to have that added pressure on myself by looking at it like that.
“As a British player, you definitely feel like you’re playing in a special tournament. But, ultimately, you’re just trying to treat it the same as any other week.”
Hatton’s bid for a first major title has been boosted by the return of long-time caddie Mick Donaghy, who had been sidelined for several months following a knee operation.
“It’s great having him back,” Hatton added. “He’s happy to be back out on the bag. He’s been out here since the late 80s.
“I had a really good stretch with Bo (Martin) on the bag, but me and Mick have been working together since May 2019. I feel really comfortable with Mick and we’ve had some good weeks together.
“Mick understands how I am. If I say certain things on the golf course, it’s not in a personal way. I’m just venting. Some guys and their personalities wouldn’t be able to deal with that, which is fine. Everyone is different.
“But Mick is good. He can handle the s*** that comes out my mouth at times.”