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August 3, 2016

Matthew Fitzpatrick

East Loathian, Scotland

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thanks for joining us. You'd better start us off with the tale of the lost golf clubs.

MATT FITZPATRICK: So I flew from JFK, which was a story in itself, getting to JFK is pretty funny. It was me, my friends, my dad, were going to Newark, because I thought I was playing from Newark; then realised it was JFK.

Managed to get -- rung ISM, they rung Aer Lingus. They got through to the captain. Captain, said, oh, yeah, we'll get him through. Managed to get on the flight. I Tweet how good Aer Lingus is.

Get to Dublin, get from Dublin to Manchester, no clubs. So then I'm thinking, uh-oh. Finally found out they were in Manchester this morning, so they are being driven up as we speak.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Apart from that, really big week for you, you have got quite a tasty first-round opponent.

MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it will be an interesting day tomorrow against Thomas. I got pretty close with him the last few weeks, played with him a little bit, got a bit of advice on a few things. It will be good to play against him, really.

Like you say, it's a big week for me and sort of in two places at the minute. I'm very, very close to getting my PGA TOUR card and very, very close to making The Ryder Cup Team. Yeah, just made that decision that I was going to go Ryder Cup.

Q. First of all, do you think the fact that you have played, that should count for you in the eyes of the captain; the fact that you have shown up?
MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I guess so. Well, there's not many people that wouldn't do that, so I don't think it's -- personally I don't think whether that's a big deal.

I think Darren knows how much I want to play The Ryder Cup, 100 per cent he knows how much I want to play. But yeah, anything that's positive to my situation is always a good thing.

Q. And this is a real chance to impress because you know the vice captains, being in a match-play environment against one of them --
MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, Thomas has played plenty of Ryder Cups, and he played the last one at Gleneagles. Yeah, like you say, it's a good opportunity for me to make a move I guess.

Q. I read that Darren had suggested to you that you might be trying too hard. Is that the case?
MATT FITZPATRICK: I think so. I don't know whether that's -- whether he can factually prove that, but it's certainly been the case. I mean, I don't want to blow my own trumpet or anything like that. But I really feel like I work pretty hard at my game, try to do the right things schedule-wise, try to just, yeah, just be as good as I can be.

Sometimes trying too hard just holds you back, and I think that's -- it can be difficult sometimes when you want to achieve something so much, it almost can get in the way, and I think that's just the case. Just got to try and relax over these next three or four weeks. Got a week off next week and I'll have some downtime then.

Yeah, just see how they go.

Q. And I was just wondering if Darren, since the draw was made, if Darren has been in touch with you at all, maybe shared a joke, playing against Thomas?
MATT FITZPATRICK: No, nothing. Nothing yet.

Q. Thomas been in touch?
MATT FITZPATRICK: No, we -- my caddie, stole his golf balls on the range today, so we were laughing about that. I saw him at breakfast this morning and just had a bit of a laugh and that's about it.

Q. If someone told you this time last year, you would be a two-time European Tour winner, in the qualifying spaces automatically for The Ryder Cup and a Top-10 at the Masters, what would you have said?
MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I'd be delighted obviously. Certainly gives perspective of how far I've come a lot, I've got to admit. It's happened so fast that I think you almost expect it to keep going that way, and it's not true -- I've had a win this year, but in all honesty, I've not had a good year. I've had a Top-10 in the Masters and a win, but outside of that, yeah, I've struggled a little bit.

Made three of the four cuts in the majors, so that's a positive, as well. Yeah, just slowly getting there and hopefully just have a good end to the season.

Q. Would you like to see more European Tour match-play events? Keith Pelley is suggesting there could be a six-hole match play; could that intrigue you or interest you in the future?
MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, definitely. I think six-hole match play sort of stuff is pretty exciting and to do it on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

I think in an actual tournament, almost having like a -- I don't know how it would work but sort of almost a Champions League-type thing where you're in a group of four and you play against each other and then the winners of that -- obviously it's not easy to do, you might have to start that on a Wednesday or something like that.

At the same time, I think just add a bit more excitement to it. I think a different format is all good. It's pretty refreshing, as well. And I think the players like doing it.

Q. Obviously ISM stablemates, I'm sure Darren has had plenty of words with you this year. What's the advice he's given you into the last few weeks of the qualifying campaign?
MATT FITZPATRICK: I don't think there's been anything in particular to be honest. I spoke to him about different things, just playing golf courses, different shots. Just everything you can think of, really. I don't think there's anything in particular that I would pick out and say, that's been the difference.

I've been getting a lot of advice off a lot of people lately and I just think the thing that comes out more and more is you've just got to enjoy golf. Yeah, finishing at 47th last week, not the greatest finish of all time, but the tournament I most enjoyed was last week for a long time.

Helped having my dad there and a few friends there, as well. I think that makes a difference. You sort of get away from the golf afterwards and you're not talking about it the whole time in between. Yeah, I think that's just the difference, just got to get back to enjoying it.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, probably. I think I'm probably sort of a workaholic, I guess. I don't want to leave like any stone unturned or whatever. I think that's more my character I guess.

Q. Last round at the PGA -- the round before, wasn't your sort of standard. Was there something you suddenly found or it just gradually getting back to what you had been doing before?
MATT FITZPATRICK: No, I think I was slowly playing better as the week went on. I feel like my game is getting back there. Canada the week before, I played well. I just didn't hole any putts. The Open, the draw was the big deal there, which I got the bad end of. Scottish was the same, no putts. French was the same, no putts.

You miss a couple of short ones and you miss the cut by one, and all of a sudden, you've not really played that bad but you've missed the cut. People a lot of time can see it as you've missed the cut. But when you've only missed it by one, and you've missed two 3-footers; all of a sudden you make those, you make another one, you're three shots better and you're middle of the pack going into the weekend and two low ones, and you'll have a good finish.

I think that, for me, is something that just last week showed, just need a bit of momentum, just need to make the cut. And I had a good weekend. But obviously 3-under Sunday, level par Saturday. Yeah, it was nice to have a low-ish one.

Q. Is the putting something you've been looking at more than any other part of the game?
MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I think so. It's just an overall picture of it to be honest. Just trying to make sure everything is in shape. Again, it's one of those, I don't want to focus too much on the one aspect, because I've been trying too hard and focusing too much on it all year, focusing too much on your read or your line or whatever it might be. I think that's something that I just want to be aware of; making sure I'm on top of it but not too much into it.

Q. Since the start of the year, the likes of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler have been talking up The Ryder Cup. Are you guys aware of that and do you feel this could be a special Ryder Cup to be part of?
MATT FITZPATRICK: No, I've not actually been aware of that. I've not realised that.

They are all pretty special, you know. It's the Ryder Cup. It's once every two years. You're representing your continent -- that you might not want to be part of but that's a different story.

But yeah, it's special. I think if you play in any of them, it's a fantastic achievement. For me personally, I've watched the last few, particularly Medinah, that was four years ago, and I would have never thought I would be in the running for it. To be potentially a part of that, you never know when that might happen again and to be a part of it would be amazing.

Q. Were you at the --
MATT FITZPATRICK: No, I was just watching. It was the year before I signed.

Q. You've had two wins, a second, three thirds, almost had a 59, Top 10 in the Masters; you're only 21. And you just said, you haven't had a good season. Are you maybe guilty of being too hard on yourself?
MATT FITZPATRICK: You sound like my dad (laughter). No, I agree. When you put it like that, it sounds pretty good. I think it's just one of those, I think a lot of the time, and I'm sure all golfers are the same, but you get stuck in the present; and you don't think about, a, what you've done before, and what you know you can achieve; and b, what you're working towards in the future. I think that's certainly me.

I tend to, certainly the last eight, nine weeks, just being reactive to how I've been playing, when I feel like the game has not been far away. I've not changed anything or anything, but sort of getting down on myself, missing the cut by one, not having the rub of the green, missing a couple short ones. All things that if you get on the right side and it all goes your way, before you know it, you've had three great results.

I think hopefully for me, after last week, can just get on a bit of a run now and just yeah, I guess just make the final push for The Ryder Cup I guess.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Good luck this week.

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