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October 11, 2015

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Woburn, England

STEVE TODD: Many congratulations, fantastic victory out there today. You turned 21 earlier this year, and now you're the British Masters Champion. Life's pretty good at the moment.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it doesn't really get much better than this I guess. Yeah, I don't really know what to say. It's just been an unbelievable day, and to top it off with a win, yeah, it's certainly made the year a lot better I guess.

STEVE TODD: Talk us through the day. It was quite a packed leaderboard, and then the back nine, you managed to get your head away from everyone. Just talk us through what happened.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Just made a good start on the back nine two, birdies in the first three. Then made a good putt on 15, which helped a lot.

And then walking up 16, I noticed I was three clear -- two clear. And hit downwind, left side, I thought if I could par in, it would probably be enough. I managed to make a good up-and-down, good birdie on 17, and then bogey on the last to win which is always nice.

STEVE TODD: You had an illustrious amateur career, and then a battle to get the card in the first place. Sum up what this victory means to you so quickly in your career.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Unbelievable, it really is. This year my goal was to keep my card, and to be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do that after the start of my year.

But managed to start playing well and making more cuts and just picking up cheque, and then the past two months, I guess, really got going I guess. Made a lot of money and was able to secure my card in The Race to Dubai. It's great.

Q. Has it come faster than you thought it might be, and when did it dawn on you that you might actually win this year?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Definitely come faster than I thought. I honestly didn't think I was going to win this year. Even with my second and thirds, thought I was close.

But sort of me and my caddie talked about it a lot, where we had weeks of seconds and thirds and stuff, where we just had bounces and lies that just didn't go our way. We said, one week it's all going to go our way. And I've got to admit, this week, I've gotten every look I've had. So this is obviously the week.

Q. Gareth Bale said after the defeat last night, it's the best defeat of his career; Wales qualified for the European Championship. I'm guessing that bogey at the last is the best of your career?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Great way to summarise it, yeah. If I'm going to be completely honest, I wasn't a fan of how far I hit it past the first ball. It was down left-to-right with the second one and then definitely wasn't too happy afterwards -- but yeah, it was great to win. It was one of those sort of, I couldn't care less what I had to make. If I had to make ten, I would have happily made ten and won. A win is a win, I guess.

Q. You've mentioned that you've had a good couple months and starting to win a bit of money. You technically are now a millionaire. In the scheme of things, when you're overwhelmed by days like this, how much does the money figure in it all in terms of the victory?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: For me right now, I'm so happy that my family were here for it and best mates were here for it. Right now -- would be the best feeling if I thought, oh, yeah, I won all this money, but it genuinely is.

It's great to have them here and support me and see me win my first professional event. Obviously it's nice to sort of look at the money and be, right, what do I do with this. Not in any rush to spend it all but might be looking at a house now.

Q. Half a million pounds -- is it enough to buy --
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I don't know if it is. It's an Ascari A10, which I don't think anyone will have heard of, but it's been on Top Gear a couple of times. I think it might be enough. I don't know. My dad won't let me spend it all on that. I don't know, I'd like to thing I'd be more sensible than that.

But yeah, I think I'll just sort of just play the rest of the year, let it all sink in and sort of assess at the end of the year really what I want to do.

Q. Serious question. You've gone to the top of The Ryder Cup points table, early in the qualification, only about five or six weeks, but can you let yourself think it's a reachable goal now?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Well, it's a massive shock, I'm not going to lie. It's a long way away, but still, the rest of the season and next season, obviously I'm assuming the last four are like double points or whatever.

We'll just see. Obviously I don't know if Rory's even played a qualifying event yet. There's people like him that are still to play.

But yeah, it's nice, to be honest the EurAsia Cup team is something I'm looking at. I would love to be part of that team. I was spoking to Darren the day before yesterday about it, and he said, you just need to get a little bit more money on the Order of Merit. I might have to send him a text later saying, I'm trying. We'll see, really.

Q. You might be able to afford the Ascari A10; not sure about the insurance as a 21-year-old. You talked all week that you wanted to get back to the Masters, and I think this gets you about 58, 59 in the World Rankings. How much of a boost is that to you, knowing that you really want to get back there?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Definitely, yeah. I think it's something I've sort of realised this year is if you're in the Top-50p -- don't get me wrong, you've got to play really well to stay there. You have to, but it just opened up so many more doors to events, and the money is bigger, ranking is easier to keep, your card is easier to keep.

I think my dad used the word "self-perpetuating." I don't know if that makes any sense. But once you sort of are up there -- it's not easy at all, but I think you know what I mean. You can play all these events, and yeah, the money is bigger and the points are better I guess.

Q. Birdies on 15 and 17. Can you talk us through both, please?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, 15, didn't hit a good drive. Pulled it left into the bunker. I said to Tom, I just didn't want to get greedy. I hate being in fairway bunkers, and I struggle to get out sometimes. Just wanted to make sure we were back on the fairway, even if we had like a 5-iron in, just give ourselves a chance of hitting the green to getting out there with a par, because it's still quite a long hole. Great iron, 8-iron in to about 20 feet. Sort of just saw the putt all the way really and knew what I had to do and did exactly that.

Q. How far was the 8-iron?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It was 175 I think. And then 17, we were just trying to play center of the green. I have to admit we were two clear at that point, and I was trying to hit at the 17th behind the green, and just keep it on that and managed to draw it a little bit left and it went to three feet. So, happy days. Hit 8-iron, as well. Seemed to be some long 8-irons.

When I think about it, I hit 8-iron on 13, 15, 16, 17, and could have potentially hit it on 18. It's my new favourite club I think.

Q. To prepare you for the American media experience, 'what was going through your mind' --

Q. You've been leading all week and of course you get to 10 and you're two shots adrift. Are you looking at the scoreboard and thinking, oops?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Sorry, I wasn't -- 10? Yeah, I was frustrated, I'm not going to lie. I struggled to get it going. I felt like I was playing okay, but just didn't make any putts.

My caddie said the same thing he said all week, just be patient, take your time and stick to the plan. We did exactly that. I think we're seven of the last nine greens, so made life a lot easier. I made one good up-and-down and even on the last, I could just put it around the hole until I got it in, so it was nice.

Q. To get back all-square at 11 and 12 must have been some feeling.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it was a good start to making a comeback I guess.

Q. 16 from the bunker, how much of a factor was that in your tee shot on 17? Was it the confidence lift you needed?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, we were still trying to play -- I have to admit, we were trying to play safe. I wasn't trying to play as aggressive as the shot paid off. But I was literally just trying to hit it on 17, the TV tower and I just managed to turn it over a little bit. If it had actually gone on that line, it would have gone straight in the bunker and that wouldn't be ideal, but it was a great finish.

Q. One of the top priorities for the Tour and SKY Sports is to drive young engagement into golf. You're the youngest player in the field I believe, this week. How does that make you feel?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Amazing. I get a lot of stick for being the youngest about a lot of things, but secretly I like it, too. It's a nice little tag to have I think.

Q. Looking back at the week as a whole, what was a facet of your game that you were most pleased with?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I've got to be honest, I really didn't think I had my A Game this week. I know a lot of people will probably say, you won, so you must have, but I genuinely -- there were phone calls to my coach Thursday evening, Friday evening, Saturday evening, all saying, "What do I do?"

I knew what to do, but it was just something we were working on just trying to fix a couple of things, because I really didn't think I was hitting it that well.

Came out today and probably felt like I hit it the best I had all week. Just felt comfortable, I guess, today, and tee-to-green, despite me not playing great, I was still hitting a lot of greens which was important.

Q. Was it maybe the mental side of it; the fact that you led from day one, and the pressure of being at the top of the leaderboard all the way through?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I think so. For me winning wire-to-wire is something that I think most players dream of. It's not very often it gets done.

Big one for me is obviously Spieth won this year the Masters and for me to be in the same category as him by doing the same is pretty special. Obviously it's not quite the same event but it's still a great achievement.

Q. You did mention Spieth. I suppose he's on his way back on a plane from where he is playing the Presidents Cup, Korea. Do you expect to get a text from him at some point?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I don't know whether I will but -- maybe. It would be nice but not counting on it. I know he's a great kid. I've spent a little bit of time with him. He's a really nice guy, so it wouldn't surprise me if I did. But I'm not going to be chasing him for one (laughing).

Q. Not many people in this era get to win in England in front of English fans, BMW -- and here you are, your first bit, you've done it in front of English fans. That's something to cherish II would have thought going forward.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: First professional win, British Masters, in England, family here, doesn't get better. Doesn't get better, unless you win The Open, but that's a different story -- (laughter) next year, yeah.

STEVE TODD: Congratulations and good luck with the car.

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