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November 20, 2016

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Matt, it's always nice to end the season on a high, and it doesn't get much higher. Thoughts?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It's a great way to end the season. This is my best result of my career. There isn't anything better than that, you know, so yeah, it's been a very, very good week.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: And just talk us quickly through the finish. Obviously Tyrrell unlucky on 18, but you took full advantage. Were you aware of that situation?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I got to the green and saw that we were tied. I sort of could see, as well, that it looked like he missed a short putt, when I was hitting at to hit my second, ^ there was a few groans from the crowd, and that's what suggested to me that at the same time, he might have just made a bogey and given me the opportunity, if I made birdie to win. Obviously realised where I was and managed to do that.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Just talk us through the putt.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It's the most I've shaked over a putt in, for ever. I surprised myself. I'm normally quite sort of okay, but yeah, it was a tough one. It was a tough one.

Q. Yesterday you said you were not quite sure if you played better this year or last year. I take it you've settled that argument. But just wondering, what is it you've done over the last, say, 15, 18 months, that has got you to this level?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Probably just working with Mike Walker and Pete Cowen, if I'm honest. They have just won the Order of Merit with Henrik Stenson and myself winning today, and Danny Willett was in the running, as well; Chris Wood. They have got some fantastic players.

What they teach, obviously I'm very biased, but I think they are the best coaches in the world for multiple reasons, not just for teaching the golf game but just general life coaching, as well. I wouldn't be here without them; not playing the standard of golf that I have, anyway. Obviously my parents, as well. They have sort of funded everything, but yeah, my special mention would be to those two.

Q. I know it's hard in a couple of sentences, but just going back to where you were 15 months ago, sponsor's invitations, uncertain future and where you are now, the difference.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it's funny, actually. It's two years to the date that I got my Tour card, which I think about it is crazy. Obviously I've won the final event of the year, and two years ago, I was just getting on the Tour and I was just happy to keep my card.

Now I feel like with this win, it gives me confidence to sort of push even further and further. Yeah, hopefully just keep working hard, doing the right things, and see what we can do next year.

Q. Can you just tell us what happened, the 15th hole, and was that the kind of lucky break that you always need to win a tournament like this?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Absolutely, yeah. I don't actually know what happened, other than it was a terrible golf shot. One thing I would say, it's the only one I hit all day. I don't think -- it's very rare that you play 18 holes and hit every golf shot perfect. So that was my one, and I've got away with it and managed to make a scrappy par and got out of there with no damage done and no ground lost. Yeah, that was a lucky break.

Q. We probably annoy you by keeping going on about your age but one other stat that came up is replaced Faldo as the youngest Englishman to win three events. Do you have to pinch yourself to realise how quickly things are happening?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Absolutely. It's just happened so fast, and I pretty much say it every week, because get sort of similar questions.

Yeah, there's always times, I've just got to sit back and realise, sort of middle of the season, just before Nordea, I was struggling, and sometimes I just had to sort of sit back and realise how far I've come. And before Nordea, I had won a Tour event, I had played in the Masters and got in Top-50 in the world, and I was 21.

Like you say, there's not too many people that do that. And obviously to get my third win at 22, yeah, it is a very fast rise. Obviously it's not always going to be the case. You've just got to take the highs while you can and just keep working hard when it's not going your way.

Q. You're clearly very grounded, down-to-earth. After winning the British Masters, you talk about the car that you were driving; you probably thought there were some questions coming. Have you still got that car, which I understand was rather modest, and if you aren't, what are you driving now?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: The Ford Mondeo. Yeah, after the British Masters, I had an X4, and then I -- I had two of those from the dealership, Powell-Jones from Manchester, and then they swapped that and kind of gave me a brand new X5, which I drove from Warrington to home.

And then the insurance -- my insurance people said, yeah, they are very high targets for being stolen, to which mum and dad weren't too keen on having that on their drive (laughter).

So we sent that one back. And now I've got a very nice BMW 3 Series, but I'm never at home anyway. I'm away for five weeks from now; I've been away for two already, and in two months, I've not been at home.

Q. When do you think you might leave home?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I don't know. This week's helped, probably increased the time scale of moving out. But I mean, I'm not in any rush. I just want to sort of make sure I find the right place first and I'm actually looking at buying in America first, rather than home.

Q. Don't they want to kick you out?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: My mum certainly doesn't. My dad maybe, but my mum certainly doesn't.

Q. I've just got to ask, as a golf in DUBAi ambassador, how special is it that you're winning here in Dubai, and second to that is just how much appreciation do you give to those guys for backing you at such an early age?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, you said it there yourself. I turned pro, no status or anything like that, and then they backed me from the start. They have been my golf bag sponsor for 2 1/2 years now, and they have been fantastic. I've got invites into -- obviously straight into the Desert Classic every time, and played a few MENA Tour events, and yeah, they have just been a brilliant sponsor.

And obviously to win the last event of the season, and obviously have their bag for the last event, is special. Obviously I'm really appreciative of their support and help, and I hope that I've been a decent ambassador.

Q. Two unrelated questions. Nobody seems to think that you're a long hitter, but seemed like a pretty decent drive and long iron into the last. So are you longer than we all think? And secondly, when you mentioned America, buying a place. What are the plans in terms of playing the PGA TOUR going forward?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, definitely am longer. I really hate to do it, because I use a Callaway driver from the start of last year pretty much through to about three weeks ago, and I had two wins with that driver and it was a very -- it was fantastic, very straight.

But I put in a TaylorMade in China for the last three rounds and then put it in the last three rounds at Nedbank and all four this week, and I've got to admit, it's made a big difference, there's no doubt about it.

I don't have a contract with anyone, so I kind of hate sort of giving them free publicity, but I've got to give it to them. The driver on the last was a little bit out of the toe and I think the fact that it had less spin on it, it went a long way and allowed me to get up in two easily. I think that's played a bit of a part, but I think in the last three months, I've been working really hard in the gym with my trainer, Kev Duffy, and that's paid off, as well.

And the other question was America? I'm going to look at places in three weeks in Florida, so I'll get a bit of a feel. My Mum and dad actually spoke to Rory this week and he said that he might give me a hand with giving me a few contacts to talk to. I think he sort of did the same as what I'm planning to do, is maybe rent at the start of next year, just get a feel for the place and then maybe pick a place then.

And then in terms of PGA TOUR, I'd love to play on the PGA TOUR eventually. I don't want to rush it. I think now winning this, I'm not 100 per cent sure, but is it a five-year exemption; that gives me three, at least, to really push for my PGA TOUR card if I'm honest. I won't just abandon The European Tour. Obviously it will always be the main tour I play, but three years to sort of give it a go gives me a good opportunity, I feel.

Q. When you first emerged on the scene as a world-class amateur, very quickly you earned the reputation of being Mr. Cool, and you could handle any sort of situation. Has that got more difficult as the occasions have been bigger and bigger? Or is it something that just comes naturally?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I have to admit that it's been a long two years for me. And today's round felt like a long time. I did feel a little bit stressed out there, not in a bad way; I was very calm, like you say, but at the same time, I said it previously, too, that I was looking forward to it being over so I could just breathe and collapse on the floor.

But yeah, I think like I said, it's the most nervous I've been over that 4-foot putt, ever, in my career. So it's nice obviously to have that title, but you need to pull it off, and fortunately, so far, so good. It won't always work out that way, but sometimes it's just your work.

Q. Is it the smile that's made the difference, as well?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yes, I think it has. Certainly the last two weeks. I made a big emphasis on myself with my caddie not to get worked up about anything. I'm 22 years old, I live a great life, and the list is endless. Sometimes you've just got to have a bit of perspective, because you make three bogeys in a row, so what; it's not the end of the world.

I think that's been a big help this week. Certainly Saturday and Sunday when things weren't going my way, we sort of kept level-headed and still hit some good shots and gave ourselves chances.

Q. Would you give us a flavour of this day two years ago? Did you hole any great putts to get your card or did you have any people watching?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I think I birdied three of the last six, and the last six at Q-School, if I remember, are quite tough holes. I was two clear, and I think come 18 and I just managed to roll it in from like 30 feet, because I just obviously relaxed and let it flow. I putted well that day, and today, I've got to admit, I owe it all to, don't get me wrong, I hit it great, but my putting this week's been brilliant.

Q. Anybody watching two years ago, spectators?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No. Just that man there in the back, Muff.

Q. How was the weather?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Weather was quite nice actually I think. A bit cool.

I have one favour actually to ask. Someone was Tweeting me, saying I'm a slow player yesterday, right. (Laughter) So I said to myself -- he said I was going to shoot 76 today. So I said to myself, if I won, I will Tweet him back with the trophy, so please don't slate me on Twitter, okay. (Laughter). That's it.


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