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20th Jun 2022

Matt Fitzpatrick on Shane Lowry’s great advice, after his US Open victory

Patrick McCarry

Matt Fitzpatrick

“Six is the number!”

Not long after he clinched his first ever major, Matt Fitzpatrick was targeting five more, and trying to keep as straight a face as possible.

The Sheffield native carded a superb final round of 68 to beat Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler to the 2022 US Open at The Country Club, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The shot that will be forever linked with Fitzpatrick’s first major win will be his nine-iron out of a fairway bunker that landed dead-centre of the green and all but sealed his victory. “It’s one of the best shots I ever hit, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

“You look throughout the week, the shots that you hit and the different times, it’s strange because that probably is such a huge shot in the moment. If I’m honest, I look back to my three approaches into 15, 16, and 17 as all really, really good shots. 18 was kind of just a bit of hit and hope.”

A member of one of Jack Nicklaus golf clubs, down in Florida, Fitzpatrick revealed that ‘The Golden Bear’ had reached out to him after his US Open win. Nicklaus and Fitzpatrick are the only two male golfers to win the US Amateur and US Open at the same course.

“Any time you’re sharing a record with Jack Nicklaus, it’s unbelievable,” the 27-year-old said. “So for me to have that as well is incredible. He called me up down there just at the presentation to congratulate me. Coming from someone like that, it means the world.”

Matthew Fitzpatrick of England is injterviewed by Mike Tirico of NBC Sports. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Matt Fitzpatrick on Shane Lowry advice

In his post-tournament press conference, Matt Fitzpatrick spoke confidently when asked about his career major ambitions.

“Six is the number,” he quickly remarked, before referring to some Shane Lowry advice he will now stick to.

“That’s the number that we all agreed on,” he joked, as he pointed out to all the reporters in the media tent. “I’ve got a bit of a way to go, but it’s a good start.”

“It’s funny,” Fitzpatrick added, “after Shane won The Open, and we were playing somewhere, and he was telling me a story about one of his mates was giving him abuse or he wasn’t playing very well, or something. And he just said, but it didn’t really matter, though, because I just thought I’ve won a major. I’ll be using that one a lot, for when things aren’t going my way.

“Yeah, it’s definitely, you want to go win more now, there’s no doubt about that. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. I’m not trying to change things. I’ll probably have a sit-down meeting with everyone and just try and make the right decisions going forward.

“It’s easy to still go off track. I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully more will come. I’m delighted with one so far.”

During that press conference, Fitzpatrick was asked about his hometown of Sheffield by esteemed golf writer Alan Shipnuck.

“Sheffield, where I grew up playing golf, Hallamshire. Windy, tough, tight, really small greens! All jokes aside, it’s actually similar to here. Just doesn’t have the length. But always really windy. When growing up, it was kind of the same wispy, high rough as well, so you had to learn to control your ball flight and chip well because you just weren’t going to hit that many greens.”

The American followed up by asking Fitzpatrick if Sheffield was ‘kind of scrappy’. The Open champion replied:

“It’s a steel town, but I love Sheffield. It’s great. It’s where I’m from. It’s where my football team’s from. Yeah, it’s where all my best pals are from, so yeah.”

“Not to compare it to my football team,” the Sheffield United fan added, “but I feel like I’m the same deal. Not expected to do well, not expected to succeed. I’ve won a major today.”

He may have been tongue-in-cheek with that six majors target, but Matt Fitzpatrick is in great form as he heads into the final major of the year, next month – The Open at St Andrew’s.

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