Alfred Dunhill Links Championship: Hatton and Fleetwood shake off Ryder Cup loss

The English duo bounced back from their disappointment at Whistling Straits by making fast starts on the Scottish links.

It was always going to be something of a guessing game as to how the members of Europe's beaten Ryder Cup team would respond to their heavy defeat in Wisconsin.

Would getting back on the horse straight away be the best way to wipe out the memories of that chastening loss to the Americans?

Or would the fatigue of a long, gruelling and morale-sapping week take its toll.

The evidence from past Ryder Cups teams was mixed.

The extraordinary Bernhard Langer won the week after missing THAT putt in the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island.

But four of the five Europeans who suffered another big loss - the 17-11 defeat at Hazeltine in 2016 - couldn't make the top 30 when they flew back straight away to try their luck in this event.

This week, skipper Padraig Harrington and three members of his European team are lining up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

So how did it go for that quartet in round one?

In the case of Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood, the answer was straightforward: impressively well. As for Shane Lowry and the skipper, maybe not so.

Tyrrell Hatton - 64 (Tied 1st)

Ryder Cup, what Ryder Cup?

If ever there was a tournament where Hatton would wipe out the 'Slaughter at the Straits' it was this one.

He's a two-time winner after victories in 2016 and 2017 and could easily have made it a hat-trick when runner-up in 2018.

Hatton has had a series of low rounds in this event but today's 8-under at Carnoustie was his second lowest in seven starts.

He pulled it off with a stunning 7-under 29 on the back nine and his card showed an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey.

"Yeah, it was good. Tough start with the weather and then yeah, I think you'll see a lot of decent scores because kind of the wind died in the middle and we had no rain. It was pretty gettable.

"It's always nice to start pretty good around this golf course. You go to the other ones and feel like you've got slightly more of a chance than here so we'll see what the week brings.

"Obviously very happy with the putter, worked well and hopefully that continues."

Tommy Fleetwood - 66 (Tied 8th)

While not yet getting the win, Fleetwood also has a stellar record in this event.

He's twice finished runner-up (2014 and 2018) while there are three other top fives on his CV (2011, 2013 and 2019).

Overall, he's never finished worse than tied 25th in nine appearances.

In round one at Carnoustie, a bogey-free 66 put him inside the top 10. Like Hatton, he heads to Kingsbarns in round two.

"We had nice conditions today. We saw when we were warming up, it looked like it could be like just a battle all day and it turned out we had a lovely day to play Carnoustie.

"But I played well. Felt very in control and like it's a perfect week sort of after The Ryder Cup, I would say. I enjoyed playing here. I have a lot of friends here. So I'm sort of in a good head space and swing felt great today. Putted really well.

"In the end, 6-under was like just a cruise in the end, which is just one of those days that you really, really enjoy.

"Energy's fine. I feel good. I think last week was a very motivating week, and I enjoyed the energy that I got from my teammates and The Ryder Cup in general and everything that it brought."

Shane Lowry - 71 (Tied 79th)

Lowry hasn't quite hit the heights of Hatton and Lowry but his record in this event is still impressive.

He was third in 2013, sixth in 2014 and has made the top 25 in four of the last five editions.

But he was rather sluggish at Carnoustie today.

The Irishman opened with a pair of bogeys and although he got back into red figures, it was only just.

He birdied the 7th but his only other gains came on the par 5s at 12 and 14.

Padraig Harrington - 75 (Tied 149th)

Of all the Europeans, surely no-one felt the record-breaking defeat heavier than the captain.

The Irishman is a past winner of this event, was also tied 7th in 2018 and, of course, won the Open at Carnoustie in 2007.

But he headed to Scotland with three missed cuts in his last four starts since the beginning of August and had every reason to still feel frazzled by Whistling Straits.

That's how it played out with five bogeys and two birdies in a 3-over 75 at Carnoustie.

"It was tough out there. My short game wasn't great. My bogeys were poor around the greens. I actually played very nicely tee-to-green. Just didn't hole putts.

"Didn't putt badly but I hit a few bad chip shots and bunker shots. I haven't really been practising. Yeah, short game needs to be tidied up.

His take on the Ryder Cup: "Same as it was. Hasn't changed. They played great. If you're looking back at it, you know, every thing that Europe has done over the last 20 years to innovate, to get an edge, they have just copied us. They are doing the exact same thing as us. It's just hard to find that edge.

"They are a good team. They got everything right during the week. You know, everything, even going up and practising beforehand, they happened to get the right wind, the wind that switched for the tournament was the wind they practised in.

"They were a very good team and they did everything right and things went their way and they holed the putts. They had the momentum. Just one of those things. It's hard to find the edge anymore."

READ MORE: Sanderson Farms Championship tips: Burns top bet to claim title

Latest news