What's In The Bag - Matthew Fitzpatrick
Matthew Fitzpatrick secured the seventh professional win of his career after a three-stroke victory at the Estrella Damn N.A. Andalucia Masters.
The Englishman saw off both Min Woo Lee and Sebastian Soderberg on his way to victory at the Valderrama Golf Club.
Fitzpatrick started his final round three shots back from the overnight leader, but he patiently kept himself in touch before birdieing two of his final three holes.
Around a notoriously difficult course that had been cranked up for additional difficulty on the final day, his score of 69 (-2) included 16 pars.
He was the only player in the field with a scoring average below 70 throughout the duration of the week, while he also topped the charts in Strokes Gained: Around the Green (+1.98).
The win lifts Fitzpatrick to fifth in the Race to Dubai Rankings and 25th in the world rankings, an increase of three positions.
At the age of 27, there is still plenty of time for Fitzpatrick to deliver further trophies to his already impressive cabinet.
While one glaring absentee is a major championship, he’ll contend in many more and having come close at the Masters in 2016 (T7), he has previously demonstrated he has what it takes to contend in golf’s most prestigious arenas.
From his seven victories, two have been the DP World Tour Championship and they are both as equally impressive as one another.
However, we will focus on his 2020 triumph, beating Lee Westwood - eventual winner of the Race to Dubai - by a single stroke.
Fitzpatrick can thank his consistency for the victory, with four tremendous rounds in the sixties.
The Englishman opened with a 68 before following up with an identical score the next day.
A third round 69 meant that he headed into Sunday’s finale in a tie for the lead, sharing the summit with both Patrick Reed and Laurie Canter.
However, after blitzing his opening four holes for four birdies, he moved into a three-stroke lead largely due to his silky iron play.
Reed remained patient himself and kept within touching distance of Fitzpatrick, forcing the Englishman to prevent any mistakes.
After chipping in for birdie on the 7th hole, Reed would emulate that success on the 15th and subsequently move into outright second place - which would have seen him crowned Race to Dubai champion.
The American felt the pressure on 16th, pushing his par putt to move out of the projected lead for the Race to Dubai title.
Another bogey on 17 effectively removed Reed from both the Race to Dubai and the tournament but he did bounce back with his third chip in of the round at 18.
Fitzpatrick was aware that par would be enough and after a nervy three-footer, he sunk his putt for the tournament victory and his second DP World Tour Championship win.
Westwood, who was snug in the clubhouse having finished minutes before, witnessed as the chaos unfolded and his third world title fell into his hands.
What's In The Bag - Matt Fitzpatrick
Driver – Titleist Tsi3
3-Wood – Ping G425 Max
Irons – Titleist T100 2021 (4-5), Ping S55 (6-PW)
Wedges – Ping Glide 3.0 (52), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (56, 60)
Putter – Bettinardi DASS Prototype
Ball – Titleist Pro V1x
2021 Seasonal Statistics
2021 saw Fitzpatrick play in America more than any other season and while he’s still seeking his inaugural victory on the PGA Tour, he has exhibited it is not long away.
The Englishman secured five top ten finishes this season on the PGA Tour - including the RBC Heritage (T4), The Genesis Invitational (T5) and the Players Championship (T9).
He finished 73rd in the FedEx Cup rankings, which resulted in him missing out on the Tour championship at East Lake.
Nevertheless, this was a breakthrough year for the 27-year-old on American soil, who looks to be committing his future more and more towards the country.
Below are his seasonal statistics for the PGA Tour:
Driving Distance – 293.5 yards (127th)
Driving Accuracy – 68.37% (17th)
Greens in Regulation – 64.39% (147th)
Birdie Average – 3.92 (50th)
Scoring Average – 70.512 (45th)
SG: Putting - .367 (38th)
While he has committed his future to America, his focus will remain on the European Tour and the imminent end to the season - where he’ll be looking to secure his third DP World Tour Championship victory.
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