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March 17, 2017

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Orlando, Florida

Q. Great round of golf. Let's start with the bounce backs. A couple of great birdies on 16 and 17 to get this in the clubhouse. Another wonderful round.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it was a good day. Didn't quite feel as in control of the golf ball as I did yesterday, but like you say, made some good putts coming in and stole a few birdies.

Q. Was the key today getting up-and-down? Because when you did miss, you were seven of eight for scrambling. So when you made mistakes, you didn't get too penalized from them. Was the short game on check today?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, definitely, the bad short game shots were to seven or eight feet and the good ones were stiff. So, I think that's really important. And I managed to hole a few of those seven or eight footers for par and a couple for birdie as well. So, it's been a good day.

Q. You're just a young man, but Arnold Palmer's a global golf icon and we're asking players to just share an image or a memory. Did you have any encounters with him or when you think of Arnold Palmer what do you think of? I remember his final shot with the driver into the 18th green off the deck here. Do you have anything like that?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No, unfortunately not. I think that he's a little bit before my time, but coming over here, you learn quickly what he's done for the game of golf. And I think the thing for me, I was lucky enough to meet him a couple of times. I went up to his office when I played as an amateur here in '14 and saw him again here last year. So, special encounters like that are always amazing and they will stay with me forever, really.

Q. In at 8-under par. Halfway home here at Bay Hill. What worked for you today in this second round?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Scrambled really well. Just sort of was a little bit looser going into the greens off the tee today and, yeah, that was a big thing, saving par.

Q. Six for six in scrambling on Thursday, seven of eight today. What have you been able to figure out getting it up-and-down around this place?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I don't know, it was something I was quite strong doing last year. I really hit it poor into the greens last year and ended up still with a half decent finish for how bad I felt I hit it. So, now, to be able to hit some greens as well and then when I do mishit, still doing the same, it's nice.

Q. What are the positives you can take away, knowing that the ball striking can be cleaned up a little heading into the weekend?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Just really comfortable with the putter right now. Me and my caddie are probably doing a good job on them. So, it's just about, like you say, cleaning it up and hopefully to moving forward over the weekend.

Q. General thoughts on your round.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it was a good round. I struggled a little bit, not hitting it my greatest off the tee and into the green, but sort of scrambled well and hopefully sort of hit it a little bit better tomorrow, give myself a few more chances and take it from there.

Q. Ask you about the bag. How long were you at Northwestern?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I was there one semester, but it was one semester long enough to have enjoyed it and warrant having the bag.

Q. How much do you know about this tournament that they're in and the history behind all of it?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I know a fair bit of. This is my third time here now and I'm just, I loved playing it in all three times.

Q. I meant the tournament that Northwestern is in currently.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Oh, right. Sorry. I don't really know much about basketball. It's not really a big sport in the U.K., so, I just know how big it is from, I've got one friend on the team and then some of my friends that do go there.

Q. Did you hear the result of the game?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I didn't, no, literally I just finished my round as they were finishing the game.

Q. You might be the only person from Northwestern that didn't watch that game.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I would have thought so.

Q. Do you ever feel like people underestimate you based on your physical appearance on the golf course?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I guess so, yeah, I'm sure probably people think I'm the amateur out there or the 15-year-old that's got in or something. But I don't really, I don't mind that, I think it's quite funny. I would rather that than people think, oh, he's going to win every week. I can't really imagine the sort of pressure that is Rory and Jason Day and those guys have, it's probably tough to keep up with.

Q. Does it turn into an advantage then for you if you feel like you're able to sneak up on people in events?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I guess so, yeah. I guess so.

Q. Golf's a unique thing in that tomorrow you'll be playing with Charley Hoffman who is 40 and you're 22. What do you think about just that dynamic in this sport?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I think that's what make it's great. Roger Federer couldn't give me a game, because he would absolutely thrash me. And I think that's -- I could go and play with my dad and we can compete against each other with the handicap system. I think that's what makes golf so good, anyone can play and anyone can compete.

Q. Have you played with him before?

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