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matt fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick downplays chance of Open glory at his ‘weakest major’

Former US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick didn’t give his fans confidence of a second major title, describing the showpiece at Royal Liverpool as his ‘weakest major’

 

If you’ve staked some pocket change on Matt Fitzpatrick to win The Open, you’d perhaps consider the cash-out based on the Englishman’s thoughts on the current state of his game.

Fitzpatrick played down his record at golf’s oldest major while speaking at Royal Liverpool, attributing both bad form and links golf not ‘necessarily suiting his eye’ to his lack of self-confidence.

He won his first non-major title in the States at the RBC Heritage in April and has three top-10’s elsewhere in 2023, but Fitzpatrick didn’t talk up his chances of a second major title on Merseyside this week.

“I would argue The Open is my weakest major, to be honest, so my expectations have probably got to match my results previous,” Fitzpatrick said, whose best finish at The Open is a tie for 20th at Royal Portrush in 2019.

“I’ve got to be realistic about where I am, where my game is. It’s not obviously where I would like it to be. I think everyone would like to be playing golf like Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler right now, but that’s pretty rare for the rest of us.

“I think for me, a good finish, all jokes aside, would be top 30 this week. I really do. I’ve not played well in Opens previously, and I wouldn’t say I’m in the best form – so I’ve got to be realistic about where I am.

“I think even as an amateur, I wouldn’t necessarily say I had great results on links golf courses, so it’s not like you turn pro and then you leave links golf.

“(I) wouldn’t say if I had to play one last round in the world, I wouldn’t choose a links golf course. I think there’s probably a little bit of that in where you like to play.

matt fitzpatrick

“Don’t get me wrong, I love playing great links golf courses. I love playing Muirfield and Turnberry – this place is fantastic, as well. It’s in great shape, and I’m really looking forward to playing it.

“There are loads of great places. It’s just for me it doesn’t necessarily suit my eye.”

Matt Fitzpatrick: The Open is ‘my weakest major’

There’ll be two chances for the Fitzpatrick family to taste victory at Hoylake on Sunday as Matt’s younger brother Alex earned a spot via Final Open Qualifying at West Lancashire.

Fitzpatrick was anxiously waiting in New Jersey to see if his brother had come through the 36-hole event that Sergio Garcia failed to qualify from. Alex carded rounds of 70 and 65 to take one of the five places up for grabs along with Matt Wallace, Matthew Jordan, Kyle Barker and Tiger Christensen.

Fitzpatrick, now 28, described the feeling of sharing the fairways with his sibling as “a lot to take in,” 10 years after winning the Silver Medal at Muirfield as the low amateur.

“I was buzzing. I was playing golf, and I was just refreshing the scores constantly. It was taking a while to update,” he added. “My girlfriend was just literally like, put it down. It’ll load in a minute.

“I was just constantly refreshing, texting my mum – What’s he doing? Where is he hitting it? I was so happy for him.

“It’s been good. I think my biggest thing, a couple of bits of advice I’ve given him. He came last week to play 18, which I think was helpful, see the golf course, no stress, no rush, and then I just told him to take these next few days easy, nine holes each day.

“I remember speaking to my coach, Mike, about what to do at my first Open back in 2013 what he stressed is don’t tire yourself out. I think I played nine Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so I think that was kind of similar to what Alex should do.”

Could we see a Matt Fitzpatrick Open Championship winning moment? Tell NCG on X!

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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