Tyrrell Hatton suffers bizarre exit from WGC Match Play

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Tyrrell Hatton consoled himself with the prospect of his Masters debut after his WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play campaign came to a highly unfortunate end.

Hatton's defeat to Rafa Cabrera Bello in the final round of group matches meant the pair went into a play-off with Charles Howell to determine who would advance to the last 16 at Austin Country Club.

But after missing a birdie putt on the first play-off hole, Hatton accidentally touched his ball as he prepared to tap in for par and failed to replace it before holing out.

That meant a two-shot penalty and saw the world No. 14 eliminated, while Howell went on to secure victory at the fifth extra hole and set up a clash with Spain's Jon Rahm, who had earlier thrashed compatriot Sergio Garcia 6&4.

Hatton told Sky Sports: "I missed the putt that I had with the chance to go through and I've stood up to knock the [par] putt in. As I've gone to put the putter down behind the ball I've clipped it and knocked it a centimetre forward.

"Straight away you have to call it on yourself. Obviously it's a disappointing day for me to lose this morning and have a great chance to go through to the last 16.

"Maybe it's karma for me how I behaved the previous two days on the golf course. All I know it's a tough pill to swallow at the moment.

"It's probably the worst way it could have ended. The referee said 'Did I replace the ball?' because if I'd replaced it then I wouldn't have gotten the penalty, but obviously by then it was too late and I'd knocked the putt in.

"I'm only human, I'm going to make mistakes as I've done today. You just have to try and pick yourself up and hopefully I can have a good week at the Masters. That gives me something to smile about at the moment. I can't wait for that."