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Hatton hungry for more Italian Open success

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Tyrrell Hatton is looking to find his very best form again as he prepares to defend his Italian Open title this week at Gardagolf Country Club.

The Englishman arrived for the Rolex Series event last season off the back of a victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and made it back-to-back victories as part of a remarkable run of results.

Hatton achieved 12 consecutive top 20s on the European Tour in between the US PGA Championship and the Masters Tournament, including those two victories, with three World Golf Championships on that list of high finishes.

His stellar play got him as high as 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking and with a seven million dollar prize fund on offer this week, a successful defence would have him back on an upward trajectory in a Ryder Cup year.

The opening Rolex Series event of the season last week was a disappointment for Hatton as he missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship. The 26 year old was nursing a wrist injury at Wentworth Club, however, and is looking to bounce back in style now he is pain-free.

Hatton will have to overcome an Italian Open field bursting with quality to successfully defend this week.

Following his victory at Wentworth last week, Francesco Molinari will shoulder the majority of the burden of expectation from an adoring Italian golfing public, while Race to Dubai Champion Tommy Fleetwood, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter are among the international stars to have descended upon the stunning Lake Garda venue this week.