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tyrrell hatton witb 2024

Tyrrell Hatton: Joining LIV Golf was like stepping into ‘the unknown’

Tyrrell Hatton has described the stress he felt in the weeks leading up to his decision to join LIV Golf, as well as his prospects of playing on the DP World Tour again…

 

The week before Tyrrell Hatton signed for LIV Golf was full of stress and indecision.

The Englishman told BBC Sport’s Iain Carter that he wanted a crystal ball to tell him whether or not to join Jon Rahm and his newly-formed team for the Saudi-funded league’s 2024 season.

His move could’ve been suspected when after being asked about his future at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January, he revealed there had been discussions between himself and the league bankrolled by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.

Hatton’s 11th-hour call was made just five days before the LIV Golf season kicked off on February 2 in Mexico. He decided to walk away from the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour on which he has collectively won seven times.

“This all came about over the weekend of Dubai. The following week was a pretty stressful one. I almost wanted a crystal ball to know what the right decision would be,” he said, speaking at LIV’s event this week in Miami.

“I spoke to so many people in that week, almost to the point of wanting to have someone to make the decision for me. It was hard. You don’t know what’s the right decision.

“I knew that if I stayed and played PGA Tour, if I play how I have been for the past seven, eight years then I should stay within the top 50 and give myself the best chance of making the Ryder Cup and playing in all the majors and that’s what I want to do.”

tyrrell hatton liv golf

ALSO: Tyrrell Hatton: I am not a Ryder Cup certainty in 2025

Is the Tyrrell Hatton Ryder Cup door still open?

Rahm and Hatton came as a pair before going to LIV Golf, as they showed with their formidable play at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, and now they represent Legion XIII in the LIV Golf League – a new team name and brand inspired by captain Rahm’s interest in Roman history.

Many of his European colleagues, such as Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, took the LIV plunge before Hatton and he admits there was an element of the unknown when leaving behind golf’s traditional tours for a new start-up circuit.

“We (He and Rahm) obviously get on very well and we had a good record in Rome,” he added. “So, there were certain things with LIV that I really liked. But, as I say, it was going into the unknown and not sure if it would be the right thing. But so far I’m happy and ultimately that’s the most important thing.”

Hatton and Rahm can reflect on their Ryder Cup careers with fondness. They each made their debuts for Europe in the biennial dust-up with America in 2018 and they have played in both editions at Whistling Straits and Marco Simone since then.

But by moving to LIV and playing in LIV events, they have received suspensions and fines from the DP World Tour. If Rahm and Hatton receive enough suspensions to the point where they can’t fill their playing quota of four events in 2024 to keep their DP World Tour memberships, they will become ineligible to represent Europe at the 2025 Ryder Cup.

The BBC reports that he is keen to keep his place in Luke Donald’s side for the matches at Bethpage next year and he has spoken to his compatriot about it as well.

“While I understand it makes it a little bit more difficult there’s still kind of a pathway to play DP World Tour events unlike the PGA Tour where we’ve been suspended,” Hatton said.

In June 2023, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour announced a framework agreement with the PIF. This alliance looked to forge a path to peace between all three parties when the PIF and LIV Golf had often been touted as their enemies.

One issue that could be addressed in a formal agreement is the Ryder Cup and if more avenues for LIV Golf players could be opened. But no such compromise has been found yet and unless the DP World Tour’s rules for fines and suspensions are altered, it will be difficult for Rahm and Hatton to make their fourth appearances for Team Europe.

“I think the talk of golf hopefully coming together made the decision marginally easier, but it was still a really difficult decision for me to make,” Hatton said.

NOW READ: Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton must ‘jump hurdles’ to play another Ryder Cup

What did you make of this Tyrrell Hatton LIV Golf story? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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