YOUNG EURO STAR OPENS UP ABOUT RYDER CUP DEBUT
Matt Fitzpatrick opens up about his Ryder Cup debut ahead of British Masters title defence
Matt Fitzpatrick’s debut appearance in the Ryder Cup may have ended in disappointment, but the experience has only proved to whet his appetite for further appearances in the biennial competition.
The 22-year-old rookie was beaten in both of his matches in Hazeltine as Europe fell to a 17-11 defeat earlier this month.
However, Fitzpatrick relished the experience and believes the European team on show in Minnesota could be the same 12 that win back the trophy in Paris in two years’ time.
“It was fantastic,” said Fitzpatrick.
“It was a great experience, one that I will never forget. Your first Ryder Cup, you don’t forget it, whatever happens.
“It just makes me want to be on more teams and hopefully in years to come I can make them. If I keep playing well and keep working hard, I can have more experiences like that.
“The 12 who were there two weeks ago could easily be the 12 in two years’ time. We have got some great players on that team.
“To be on the same team as Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, and play in the Ryder Cup with them, not just watching from outside the ropes, was special.”
Having relished the team environment in Hazeltine, Fitzpatrick’s focus is now back on his own game as he looks to defend his British Masters title.
The young Englishman (pictured with the British Masters trophy) won by two strokes last year and is hoping he can repeat that success this week. “It is exciting, I am really looking forward to the week,” he added. “This is the first time I can try and defend a title and it is all new feelings, but I am looking forward to it. “I have fantastic memories [of last year], it was my first professional win and it’s such a special event, being my home country, home crowd. “I think the British crowds are the best in the world. Obviously, to have them here again, it will be exciting. Hopefully we can all play some good golf and then they will enjoy the week.” The British Masters gets under way tomorrow at the Grove, Hertfordshire, and will feature a strong field including Fitzpatrick’s Ryder Cup teammates Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan. Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal will also return to action after 18 months on the sidelines due to rheumatoid arthritis.
RISING STAR: Matt Fitzpatrick is the defending champion at the British Masters