Tyrrell Hatton has opened up on the loss of “motivation and enjoyment” he believes contributed to a downturn in form.
The Englishman, 30, got 2021 off to a perfect start with a win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
But rather than providing a springboard for success, Hatton instead saw his game deteriorate throughout the season.
Now, as he prepares to defend his title at Yas Links, he admitted he is still trying to rediscover his love for the game.
And the two-time Ryder Cup star described the current state of his preparation as a “work in progress” as he attempts to find the form he showed in 2020.
“In 2020, I was working pretty hard in the gym throughout the whole year, in a much better place fitness-wise,” he said.
“I was more comfortable with my own skin, and I think that just actually allowed me to go play better golf.
“Certainly the back half of last year, I was doing no training. I wasn’t that motivated to practice either. So there’s a combination of things. It’s not always plain sailing.
“I’ve tried, I flew out to Orlando on New Year’s Eve and tried to do a two-week boot camp of training and practice as well and tried to just get back into it, really to find the motivation to go and do it.
“I much prefer playing than practicing on the range. I’ve always said that, and I haven’t really been out on the course a huge amount when I’m back home.
“So that’s something that I probably need to get back into and try and find some enjoyment and a reason to go out there and do it, too.”