Media Center Interviews
March 29, 2023
Pre-Tournament Interview with Tyrrell Hatton
DOUG MILNE: We have the pleasure of being joined by Tyrrell Hatton, joining us for his first start at the Valero Texas Open.
Tyrrell, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. If we could just get a few comments on being here, what you've seen. I know you've at least seen the back nine so far. Just your initial thoughts on being here on the course?
TYRRELL HATTON: Obviously it's good to be here. Typically I've not played before the Masters and my Masters record is nothing to get excited about. We've had a nice start to the season and figured it would be nice to add this event into the schedule. We'll try our best to have a good week and take some momentum into Augusta.
DOUG MILNE: What are your initial thoughts on the course? Have you had much experience, have you been out here before this week?
TYRRELL HATTON: No. Well, I walked the front nine yesterday. I'm sure as you guys know, it was pretty windy yesterday so it wasn't the most productive day. I think I walked the front nine, hit maybe 30 balls and that was about it.
Just played the back nine in the pro-am. Yeah, so tomorrow is going to be kind of -- it's all still going to be fairly new to me, but it's all kind of in front of you. It reminds me a little bit of South Africa in a way actually sort of visually and with the bushes. You don't really want to be hitting it offline this week.
DOUG MILNE: And my last question, then we'll take a few, you had mentioned good form coming into the week, most notably your runner-up at THE PLAYERS Championship. What are you most confident, comfortable with part of your game as you're heading into the week?
TYRRELL HATTON: Well, generally my long game's been pretty solid from the start of this year. I feel at times my putting's let me down a little bit, which is normally the other way around. Yeah, I mean, this would be a nice week for it all to come together. But like any other week, I'll try my best from the start and yeah, just hoping that I can have a good week.
Q. First, your hand, you talked about your hand at the Dell Match Play. Is that OK? Is everything OK?
TYRRELL HATTON: Yeah, it's been fine. It was just a really weird thing that happened warming up on Wednesday. I just hit a 6-iron like 75 percent just for rhythm purposes and yeah, at impact I got a really sharp pain in my hand, which kind of, yeah, sort of sent a sharp pain down into the wrist. But it was more in my hand that was in the problem. Thankfully I've not had that -- I was fine on Thursday, fine on Friday and haven't had that pain since. It was just a freak thing that happened on that day and the good thing is I was able to play with it. Like I said, I took some Advil and hoped that that would kind of get me through. Sure, there were a couple of shots that hurt on impact on Wednesday, but since then it's been fine.
Q. Talking about Augusta National and kind of your finishes there, which aren't what you want them to be, I realize you're trying to shake things up by being here instead. Is there something about that golf course that doesn't suit your eye well or is it something that you think through time and learning a little bit more that you can, you know, you can come to master that course?
TYRRELL HATTON: Well, I mean, I'd like to think -- this is going -- next week will be my seventh Masters, so it's not like I'm short of experience around there. Generally speaking, I've not putted particularly well there, which again going back through stats and stuff throughout the years, putting's normally a strength of mine. Yeah, I've just not holed the putts. I've broken 70 was it once in my 17 or 18 tournament rounds. You know, it's not a record to get excited about.
Having said that, you don't always have to shoot low around there to have a great week. Typically scores are pretty -- the winning score's higher than normal weeks. It's not often where the winning score's gone lower than 10 under. It's not really the kind of week that you have to shoot low, so I guess in that sense it's not too concerning. Yeah, just it's an interesting golf course.
Q. A couple more quick ones. This field, you're one of the favorites. Do you like that? Seems like at THE PLAYERS where kind of things all of a sudden got away -- not away from you, but you were a little back in the pack but you played your best golf in a long, long time. You even said you surprised yourself with the your finish. Do you like that playing an underdog role or do you prefer coming in like this where you're a favorite?
TYRRELL HATTON: I mean, golf's a pretty silly game. Just on paper you could say about every week there's favorites, but it doesn't often turn out that way. I mean, it makes no difference to me where -- I don't feel -- world ranking-wise I'm one of the high ranked players playing this week, like that makes no difference, you've still got to go out there and play good golf. Like what's the field size this week, 144? There's 143 other players that are fantastic at playing golf, like on their week they can go and win this tournament, there's no doubt about it.
So being a -- if you're a favorite or not, it really doesn't matter, you just go out there and you play your best golf and you can have a chance to win.
Q. Real quickly, our team has Man City this week. We got any chance?
TYRRELL HATTON: If the team that played United show up, then absolutely. If the team that played Bournemouth showed up, then it could be another sad week.
We'll be optimistic and hope that we can -- we need three points.
Q. Tyrrell, what do you usually do the week before a major? Do you play in events or do you usually take the week off?
TYRRELL HATTON: Well, I mean, before The Open I generally always play the Scottish. I'm trying to think. This year I'm going to play, it looks like I'm going to be playing before each major, certainly for the first few. Yeah, it's just how it's going to go this year to be honest.
Q. Do you like the idea of that and what do you hope to get out of this week outside obviously the goal is to win, but what do you hope to get out of this week to take to next week?
TYRRELL HATTON: Just more momentum really. Even last week in Austin I actually played good, I just didn't really hole -- I didn't hole any putts. Although I lost my three matches, I kind of left Austin, yeah, your pride's hurt because you've lost all three, like you want to be winning them, but at the end of the day it's not like I played bad golf and lost all three where you can be a bit like, well, that really sucks, but at least I've played good. I didn't hole putts, OK, that's fine, but then jumping straight back into this playing this week, feeling fairly comfortable with my swing right now, hoping that I can keep that momentum going and keep playing well because then that gives you confidence. Like I said, hoping that I can feel confident going into the Masters and try and have a good week there, too.
Q. You mentioned the wind yesterday when you were walking around. What's the worst tournament round that you can recall dealing with the wind?
TYRRELL HATTON: That's a hard question. I'm trying to think of what comes to my mind.
Weirdly I just think -- thankfully I wasn't playing, but THE PLAYERS last year when the guys were hitting like anywhere from 8-iron to 5-iron, whatever it was, into 17. I mean, yeah, that was pretty mad watching that. Off the top of my head I'm struggling to think of -- I guess you try and forget those kind of weeks when the wind's just causing havoc.
Q. Because like The Open Championship a number of years there's been wind issues, I can recall St. Andrews being one of them. I don't recall whether you were --
TYRRELL HATTON: I played the 2010 Open at St. Andrews as an 18-year-old amateur and I remember hitting driver, 6-iron to the first where typically we're hitting 3-iron, gap wedge or whatever it is now. Driver, 6-iron. That was an interesting day, for sure.
Q. When you get into events where you have wind, as a lot of these Texas events do, do you have a certain strategy to play within that wind?
TYRRELL HATTON: No. I mean, growing up playing a lot of links golf as an amateur, you kind of at times you feel like you should be able to flight the ball as you need to to get around the course. Generally speaking, if I feel in a good spot with how I'm swinging it, flighting the ball, I'm kind of comfortable with.
The greens this week seem fairly firm or can get firmer and if the wind picks up, then that will certainly make it interesting because at times they're not the biggest of targets to hit into with slopes and runoffs, so that will make the second shots in pretty challenging. I haven't seen the forecast if it is due to pick up at all this week. Obviously my playing experience of playing nine holes today was quite pleasant with just a little breeze. Yeah, but whatever's in front of us, then we'll try our best to deal with it as good as we can.
Q. With this being your first time here, just wondering are you staying on site at the J.W.?v
TYRRELL HATTON: I am, yeah.
Q. How nice is that being able to get off the course and head right to the room?
TYRRELL HATTON: Yeah, it's a nice setup this week. Whenever you get to stay on site it's obviously very convenient. You don't have to worry about a half an hour drive back in a traffic jam. So yeah, as I said, it's good.
DOUG MILNE: Well, we will let you head back towards that room right now. Thank you for joining us, we appreciate your time.
TYRRELL HATTON: I wish I was going back to the room. Sadly, I've got a gym session, which as you can see I'm delighted about.