There were plenty of other big guns in contention at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, the 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson and his fellow Ryder Cup regular Martin Kaymer, a three-time former victor of this event, leading at the close of play on Thursday and Friday respectively.
European PGA: Tommy Fleetwood broke free from a pack of contenders containing three major champions to win the Abu Dhabi Championship by one shot on Sunday, ending the Englishman's 31/2-year wait for a second European Tour title.
Hatton will be grouped with Johnson and 2014 victor Pablo Larrazabal, who shot a 69 in the third round, in the final round Sunday.
This was Fleetwood's first win on the European Tour since taking the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
"At the end of the day, they are world beaters", the 26-year-old Fleetwood said.
"The chip-in on 10, birdie on 11, changed everything". But Fleetwood came into the tournament in decent form with 10 top-20 finishes in 12 events stretching back to September. I didn't really think it would be this week. The top 50 in the world on March 27 are invited to the event. Major winners Dustin Johnson (68), Martin Kaymer (69) and Henrik Stenson (69) were in the chasing pack all day, with three-time victor Kaymer leading on his own for two holes before dropping three shots in five holes round the turn. But where I'm at this year, obviously going into next week and with the game.
His putt for eagle slid three feet by, but he made no mistake coming back.
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Kaymer led on his own for two holes before dropping three shots in a five-hole stretch around the turn. "You've got to take those chances if you want to win".
Stenson (69) was tied for eighth on 13 under.
A slashed three-wood from the rough on the 18th found the green and Fleetwood two-putted for the tournament-clinching birdie.
"I'm just glad I hit a few good ones off the designated tees to increase the donation amount", he said.
"I'm a little bit surprised where I am", said the 23rd-ranked Hatton, who said he spent most of his offseason on his Xbox playing "Call of Duty".
"I enjoyed it. The golf course is good".