Hatton's 50 shades of great

05 October 2017 04:15:58 EST

Tyrrell Hatton is hoping that the defence of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title can benefit again from the presence of his celebrity partner, the actor Jamie Dornan.

Twelve months ago the 26-year-old Englishman was magnificent in claiming a four-shot victory at the Old Course in St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, the first of his European Tour career.

The win came just two months after he had finished second in the Scottish Open and fifth in the Open Championship, proving his links pedigree in the process, but he was also aware that his strong partnership in the pro-am section contributed to his success throughout the week.

"Me and Jamie had a bit of chemistry," he said ahead of this year's first round in which he will be reunited with Dornan. "I obviously feel that helped me through the four days last year and I'm looking forward to doing it again this week."

One feature that has changed this year is the weather which is considerably colder than 2016.

"I played 18 holes today with four layers and a hat," the champion laughed. "I remember last year I was in a gentleman's jumper and polo shirt. I played Carnoustie yesterday and that was pretty tough in the wind. I'm hoping it will be a little bit kinder when I go there on Friday."

Hatton admitted that the unique nature of the tournament, with three venues, requires considerable fortune in the draw.

"Yeah, you can play Kingsbarns or St Andrews on a really calm day and shoot decent scores, and if you get Carnoustie, or to be honest, any of the other courses, on a really tough day, then you're going to struggle. But that's what links golf is about," he added.

Hatton is not lacking form. He was third in the European Masters and eighth last week in the British Masters after a summer slump which saw him miss five cuts in six starts.

Hatton is 1/1000 to win the tournament outright, while Rory McIlroy can be backed at 4000/1.

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