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Tyrrell Hatton slams Masters officials for not penalizing slow play after nearly six hours of round

Rounds of 72 and 74 helped Tyrrell Hatton survive the weekend at Augusta National – AP/George Walker

Tyrrell Hatton hit out at Masters officials for not putting the group on the clock for him earlier in their round, describing it as “bad” as golf’s Mr Angry admitted he let his frustrations boil over during a second of two over par. round 74.

Hatton became increasingly irritated as the group, which consisted of Patrick Reed, Sungjae Im and Kurt Kitayama, was not put on the clock until the end of their second round, despite continued slow play.

“It’s pretty poor of the officials that it took 32 holes to put them on the clock,” Hatton said, noting it was the second day in a row they had fallen behind the group in front of them.

‘Yesterday they lost a hole and a half. And then they weren’t any better even this morning [when completing their first rounds]. And for the second round they were just brutal.

“It’s fine for them; they don’t wait for any shot to hit them. But for us, we were on the fairway, we were on the tee. It was very difficult to find a rhythm. So it was disappointing that it took 32 holes for an official to say, “Oh, we put the group at the front of the clock.”

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Slow play was also a hot topic last year, with Brooks Koepka frustrated at the time it took Patrick Cantlay’s group ahead of him to clear the greens on his final round. The rounds on Friday lasted almost six hours because the wind was blowing heavily.

Hatton said he understood why rounds were taking long under the current conditions, admitting that was “just the reality of it”. But he felt there was no excuse for falling so far behind the front group.

“We were on the eighth waiting for our second shots, and they’re still putting out the fire,” he said. “And the boys in front of them knocked off ten. It’s a small field. It is not difficult to keep up with the group at the front. I understand if you’ve had a tough hole, but when it’s like every hole, it’s a little more frustrating.”

Hatton had to wait a particularly long time to play his approach on the par-four 14th, during which time he was heard saying to his caddy Hugo Dobson: “I don’t think these guys could last any longer if they tried. It’s actually a shame.”

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Hatton proceeded to bogey that hole, as well as the next, and threw his ball into the water off the 15th green in disgust, drawing some boos from patrons for a player often seen as something of a pantomime villain.

Hatton admitted he had let his temper boil over and said he was particularly upset by that boogeyman because he had had a chance for a birdie.

“I’m always frustrated, but the way I played fifteen, it was… to get away with a six this afternoon. . . That was a bit of a low blow,” he said. “I just missed a short shot on 14. And then I was kind of over the putt on 15. OK, I didn’t really hit a great shot. But you have a 15-foot birdie putt and you walk away with six. It’s pretty tough.”

Hatton has a strained relationship with Augusta. Two years ago, Hatton described the course, which was generally approached with something approaching sacred reverence, as “unfair” after a final round of 80, saying good golf was not always rewarded.

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He has not revised that judgment. Hatton said he felt he played better than his score suggested. “It’s hard. You can make a great shot and you get a gust of wind, and suddenly it ends up in a spot where it probably wouldn’t have happened. It doesn’t give you an honest picture of how you played. I definitely feel like I’ve played better golf than what my score currently suggests. But at least we’re here this weekend.”

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