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The European Tour created a special piece of history at the Turkish Airlines Open at the weekend with it coming to a conclusion under floodlights.
For the first time at a professional golf tournament, the on-course floodlights were switched on at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal golf course for the tournament’s playoff as six golfers battled it out for the $2million prize money.
Hatton, overnight leader Schwab, American Kurt Kitayama, South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen and Frenchmen Victor Perez and Benjamin Hebert entered the historic playoff after all were inseparable after 72 holes, finishing on 20-under.
Six quickly became three after the first play-off hole, when Schwab, Kitayama and Hatton made birdie on the par-5 18th and the others did not.
At that point, with little daylight remaining, the final three players conferred with European Tour rules official John Paramor to decide whether they would continue under the lights that line the 18th hole. Everyone agreed that they would, creating the first lighted finish in European Tour history.
It was Hatton who fared best under the lights, beating Schwab by a single shot on the fourth play-off hole, to claim his fourth European Tour title and first since 2017.
“It’s so surreal. I mean, I actually can’t believe that I’ve won,” said Hatton.
“It’s been quite a difficult year in terms of things happening off course, and you know, the last month, I feel like I really found my game again.”
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