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  • Alistair Tait

Tyrrell needs to tame his tantrums

If you or I acted like Tyrrell Hatton on the golf course we’d be hauled up before the committee and told to smarten up or else. We might even face a lengthy ban for acting more like a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum than a golfer. We’d probably struggle to find people to play with.

And rightly so. Who on earth wants to play with someone who repeatedly takes clods of sod out of the turf every time they hit a bad shot, or takes the definition of follow-through literally, as in letting the club follow through their fingers until it lands 30 yards ahead of them? We’d be inclined to walk off the golf course if we had to play with someone who has no respect for the course or the game.

Whether the European Tour’s tournament committee or the PGA Tour’s equivalent bring Hatton to book is another matter. We’ll definitely not hear anything from the PGA Tour. It doesn’t do bad news. As far as its concerned, every player is a saint. At least the European Tour fronts up, even if it doesn’t publish fines levied at players.

The irony of Hatton’s repeat racket violations is it comes just a couple of months after he appeared in the European Tour’s highly entertaining “Anger Management” video. Too bad Tyrrell didn’t see the didactic side of that vignette. He needs to practice that thumbs up cure Tommy Fleetwood gave him because his behaviour during his match against Sergio Garcia in the WGC–Dell Technologies Match Play was embarrassing. That’s putting it mildly. As Legends Tour player Gary Evans replied to me on Twitter last night:

I know for sure Evans would have had a word or three with Hatton if they’d played back in the day. I can imagine how his tantrums would have gone down with someone like Ian Woosnam and a few others who weren’t backwards in coming forwards to tell playing companions to get their act together. The 1991 Masters winner might have had more than a quiet word in the locker room after the round.

A further irony is Garcia is no shining beacon of etiquette himself. Little chance of Garcia having a word when he’s been the epitome of petulance during parts of his career. This is the guy who was disqualified for wilfully damaging greens in the 2019 Saudi International. Who once spat into the 13th hole at Doral after missing a putt in the 2007 CA World Championship. Who kicked his shoe and nearly hit an official during the 1999 World Match Play at Wentworth. Those are just three charges on Garcia's long rap sheet.

Golf doesn’t have many spoiled brats. It’s what marks our game out from other sports. Sure players get angry. We all do. But the vast majority know to reign in their temper rather than morph into John McEnroe in his halcyon days.

The shame is Hatton’s a pretty good guy off the golf course. He’s easy to talk to, and never ducks an interview or a question. Too bad his temper lets him down inside the ropes.

Someone needs to have a wee word with Tyrrell the Terrible. His behaviour is unbecoming and not in the spirit of the game. Judging by the reaction on social media, I’m not alone in holding that view.

Oh, and as for players not shouting Fore!.... Don’t get me started!

#JustSaying: “All players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by: Showing consideration to others …Taking good care of the course.” The Rules of Golf


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