Already one of the fieriest competitors in golf, Tyrrell Hatton found himself more on edge than usual Thursday at the CJ Cup.
Even if his score should have given him plenty to smile about.
Coming off a 20-hour door-to-door travel day from England, Hatton had a dream start to his opening round and shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.
Not bad for a guy who was jet-lagged and dealing with a sore throat, if not a little more crankiness.
“It’s fair to say I’m pretty tired at the moment,” Hatton said afterward. “Today was a long day. Very happy with my score, and I just need to try and get back to the hotel this evening, have a good rest and hopefully sleep better than I did last night and, fingers crossed, for another good day tomorrow.”
Hatton is fresh off one of the biggest victories of his career, a resounding victory at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the European Tour’s flagship event. What followed was a 20-hour travel day, door to door, and then a few nights of restlessness as he dealt with the eight-hour time difference. Hatton said he only got about 5 ½ hours of sleep on Wednesday night, waking at 5 a.m. He still fared better than his caddie, Mick Donaghy, who has been up at 2:30 each morning.
“The issue today was I was grumpy out there; I was quite agitated,” he said. “Even though I had a really good score going, I was just on edge. That’s generally quite a hard thing for me to manage. Today, being as tired as I was, I was just a bit more on edge. I wasn’t happy with how I managed myself after some poor shots, but I think this is easy to do: Everyone loses their cool when they’re tired and haven’t slept enough. It is what it is.”
Hatton played his first five holes Thursday in 5 under par, including a hole-out eagle on the 12th, and then mixed four birdies and two bogeys the rest of the way. A winner earlier this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Hatton is looking to build on his breakout 2020 campaign. He’s now ranked 10th in the world.