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Hatton wins six-man playoff under floodlights to lift Turkish Open title

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By Reuters
Hatton wins six-man playoff under floodlights to lift Turkish Open title
FILE PHOTO: Golf - European Tour - BMW PGA Championship - Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Britain - September 19, 2019 England's Tyrrell Hatton reacts during the first round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs   -   Copyright  PAUL CHILDS(Reuters)

(Reuters) – England’s Tyrrell Hatton beat Austria’s Matthias Schwab on the fourth playoff hole to clinch his second Rolex Series title at the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya on Sunday after a dramatic six-man playoff.

For the first time at a professional golf tournament, the floodlights were switched on at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal golf course for the playoff as the six golfers battled for the $2 million prize money.

Hatton, overnight leader Schwab, American Kurt Kitayama, South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen and Frenchmen Victor Perez and Benjamin Hebert entered the playoff after they all finished with a 20-under overall score after 72 holes.

“It’s so surreal, I actually can’t believe that I’ve won,” Hatton said. “It’s been quite a difficult year in terms of things happening off course. The last month I feel like I’ve really found my game again.

“I said to my team that if I was lucky enough to win again, I’d definitely savour the moment because it’s quite easy to take it for granted. Sport’s great when it’s going well and when it’s not going well, it hits home.”

Overnight leader Schwab, who led the field on each of the first three days, had the chance to clinch the title on the 18th with a birdie but finished with a par score on the hole to set up the six-way playoff — only the third in European Tour history.

Six became three when Perez, Van Rooyen and Hebert were eliminated on the first playoff hole while Hatton’s sensational birdie chip from the edge of the green saw him remain in contention.

As the floodlights came on in the Turkish twilight, it was Schwab’s turn to impress on the third extra hole with a 20-footer from the edge of the green to stay alive along with Hatton while Kitayama bowed out after missing his shot.

Hatton finished the fourth extra hole on par after missing a birdie putt before Schwab agonisingly missed his putt for par from a few feet out, with the bogey handing Hatton — who looked on in disbelief — his fourth win on the European Tour.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)