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September 27, 2017

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Newcastle upon Tyne, England

BRIONY CARLYON: Matthew Fitzpatrick, delighted to have you here, a former champion in 2015. Obviously your first win on The European Tour. You must have some great memories of the British Masters. What's it like coming back and playing some golf up here in the northeast.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it's always great. The crowds here are fantastic. The British, English crowds, they know about golf and they know what a good shot is, and they know when players don't like the shot they've it, and it makes a big difference. You can really feel it; certainly I did, in 2015, coming down the stretch.

Yeah, it makes a big difference to the event. I know players just love playing in front of big crowds, so, yeah, it's great.

BRIONY CARLYON: You've just come off your fourth European Tour win, and it has been a bit of a meteoric rise for you. You must be looking forward to this week and your game really coming into form.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, hopefully. This course is a lot different to what we normally play. It's obviously got a lot of elevation changes and -- into the greens; if the wind does pick up, it will be pretty difficult. I think it will be a good test. I don't think it suits anyone in particular, which is kind of nice. But yeah, it should be an interesting week.

Q. What do you expect the winning score to be here?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Tough to say, really, because I was -- I think I was 3-under on the front nine, and you know, I played really well and sort of took my chances, and I had a couple bogeys, as well.

I think there's a few tough holes out there. I don't think 18 is a given, even if you're a leader by one, you can miss a green but you've still got to make the up-and-down. It's not easy. I mean, I'm not good at guessing scores. I can't give you a number, but I think it will be tougher than everyone thinks, really.

Q. You were here early this week. Is that normal for you to put in that amount of practise beforehand?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I was in New York last week, so I sort of just had some time off and I felt like I wanted to get -- it's only 2 1/2 hours up the road from me. I drove up in good time and sort of had an afternoon session on Monday, which was fine, really.

Q. I guess you drove up in a pretty good mood after the week en, as well?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yes, absolutely. Safe to say that I did. It was a fantastic day and a very good result.

Q. In terms of your form, do you almost feel like the season, you wish it wasn't coming to a close?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yes and no. You know, it's been a long year; they always are. You travel here, there and everywhere, and before you know it, it sort of does catch up on you. I didn't have a good summer, and as you say, finding a bit of form now coming to end of the season.

I always love playing the end of season events. It's always a nice stretch. You have this, Dunhill, Italy and you have the sort of Final Series, as well, and playing the WGC, as well. So some good courses coming up. Yeah, just really looking forward to the end of the year.

Q. What does this tournament mean to you, having won it two years ago?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it means a lot. It's one of the first ones down on this schedule. It's a very cliché remark, that, but it's true. You always want to come and play the British Masters in front of the British crowds. Yeah, it's always a great tournament to play.

Q. Do you see yourself hosting a tournament like what Lee is doing this week?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I'd love to. It's a little different for me. I don't really have any affiliation with a course that can host a big tournament. You know, my golf course is a little bit smaller. But yeah, you know, if I was lucky enough to do that, I've soared of joked around with sort of my manager, Ted, about going to Turnberry. I love Turnberry. I've heard the recent changes are fantastic, as well. But it's a long way off, I think.

Q. Did you see Britain's Tallest Man earlier?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I saw on Twitter. I saw Dan Walker Tweet it, actually. Dan's 6-6, and he's 7-7.

Q. I just watched him on the range walking along and every single golfer -- yeah, yeah, crazy.
Q. Going back to your brother -- how much advice do you give him?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I can't say too much; he's in the room (laughter) yeah, I try to give him as much advice as I can. The right stuff, obviously. Don't want to tell him too much. He's spent a lot of time with me and he's spent a lot of time with Pete Cowen, as well, at the range. You know, Pete's given him his advice. I've given him mine; he never listens. I think, hopefully, he's had a half-decent season this year. He's had some really good scores, so hopefully he can just carry on.

Q. Do you feel like you have any advantage in particular playing there, with the crowds --
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No, in terms of playing --

Q. Especially this time of year, as well.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Kind of. But it was really interesting last night, sort of playing the Hero Challenge, I felt the biggest cheer was for Sergio. So in terms of crowd aspect, I think everyone loves Sergio and they love Martin Kaymer. They love Miguel, as well. So I think in terms of crowd, I expect it's pretty even.

But golf course, fairly -- I think all these guys have been around long enough. They know what the deal is. They know how to play these courses.

Q. The Hero Challenge, what do you think that does?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I think it's fantastic. I was speaking to all the guys and they were very genuine about it and they thought it was really cool, really enjoyable to be part of. I actually spoke to Mr. Munjal from Hero, as well, and he said, "What do you think about it?"

I said, "It's great." And I can genuinely see a tournament being like that. I think there will be, and obviously with Keith, he's sort of alight with these exciting new ideas, so wouldn't put it past him. You know, I think I could definitely see a tournament being like that where there's more than eight guys, and you get a crowd and maybe it's played over two days, four days, whatever it is. I think it would be great. I think you'd get more people tuning in.

I saw the Scottish one was done in the day. I think you might get a little bit better golf I think if it -- you'd probably see more shots closer in the day. But yeah, I mean, playing in the evening, I always loved going to Sheffield United's night games on the Tuesday night because I always thought the atmosphere was better. Maybe that's something that comes around to golf.

Q. Thoughts on the 18th as a par-3?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, like I said, you know, it's a demanding hole. We hit 4-iron just long today, and it was downwind. You know, probably today, we could have hit 5-iron at the right distance. You want a two-shot lead coming in because it's no given, you hit in the trap, you might plug or you miss it left and you've not got a great lie.

Yeah, it's interesting. I don't like par 3 finishes but this one is a good one. I know there's one in Austria that's just like a 7-iron to the middle of the green. But hitting a 4-iron in here, and if it gets windy, it might be a bit more. Yeah, it will be interesting.

Q. Your form at this time of year --
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No idea. Been trying to find the right thing and the right balance and what I'm working on for the whole year, really. I think I've sort of got something now, found it in the Czech Republic. Really, it was a tough one. I've not really had a great summer for a while, really. I've not sort of played well in those events since -- I can't really remember when I posted a good finish; The Irish Open, but that was early in the year in 2015.

Just one of those things, I felt like I was certainly working hard enough and trying to figure it out but just didn't happen.

Q. Playing in the U.S. this year --
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I don't think -- we actually looked at all my stats after the Bridgestone and stuff, and I didn't hit enough fairways, and that's a big part of my game. Because if I'm in the fairway, I'm normally okay with my irons, pretty solid with my irons. So we sort of concentrate a bit more on trying to get the driver working a little bit better. We were messing around with it a little too much maybe.

Yeah, I think sort of same thing. I drove it much better in Switzerland and drove it much better in Czech Republic, as well. Hopefully it feels -- certainly feels better. Hopefully just take that into the run at the end of the year.

Q. The tournaments leading up to The Race to Dubai --
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. There's some great golf courses coming in. You've got the Dunhill next week, which is always enjoyable, and The Italian Open, I love that golf course. For me it sort of suits me quite nicely. China is a great golf course. Not played Turkey. Again, everyone enjoys Nedbank, and then you've got DP World. Obviously I like that one.

It's a great run, and the final three that we've got now is fantastic.

Q. Having your brother around --
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Hopefully, yeah. Yeah, hopefully. It's interesting for him to come and see what happens and stuff like that. It's the first one he's been with me where he's sort of inside the ropes and stuff. What's actually happened so far, he's just ended up going to a couple manufacture trucks and getting free gear (laughter).

Yeah, we're trying to see if he can get in the Dunhill next week, but we're still waiting to hear on that one, so hopefully we get some good news this week, even if it's Monday next week, it would be great. But yeah, I think it would be a nice little story maybe that we play together next week, but we'll see.

Q. Has he beat you yet?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No, he's not beat me yet.

BRIONY CARLYON: Thank you for your time. All the best this week.

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