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January 20, 2018

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Q. 63 today, not sure where to start. How was it out there for you?
MATT FITZPATRICK: It was great. I don't know how to putt it to be honest. We were very lucky. Front nine, every time I got on the green, I just holed every putt, basically, and I felt so comfortable on the greens. Obviously like I said, just putted fantastic. Just a little bit of work to be done on the long game.

Q. That front nine, how does that rank up there of your best nines?
MATT FITZPATRICK: Pretty up there. It's actually my second best I managed 28 a couple years ago at the KLM, which was also nice, but that was placing, so I'm guessing that don't count as good.

Q. When you shoot 63, everyone is going to talk about birdies, but 11, vital up-and-down to keep the momentum going.
MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, again, we got very lucky off the tee shot, perfect gap into the green. Probably pulled the wrong club there. Again, just a little bit lucky. When it's your day, it's your day. Sort of hit the chip probably a yard short of where I really wanted to hit it and it just catches that rough and takes a nice little kick and nestles down to a foot.

Q. Tee shot on the next?
MATT FITZPATRICK: It was obviously nice to get it back there. It's not an easy flag. We missed it on the left side. It wasn't an easy one to get at, so to make 2 there was good.

Q. How much did it help playing with Paul, who was having a similar score to you? Does it help you pull each other along?
MATT FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I think it always does. It's very rare you find a guy that's doing really well and the other two are sort of struggling. You tend to sort of feed off each other a little bit.

I thought Paul played really nicely today. He said he was going to the range afterwards, but I thought he played pretty good. Again, he probably had a lot more chances than myself, but I just holed everything.

Q. You've put yourself right back in the tournament, so what's the plan going into tomorrow?
MATT FITZPATRICK: Play a better long game than today, really. If I go out and shoot the same score, I'll be a happy man. I think it will be tough to beat. I think just go work on the range this afternoon.

Q. Through 12 holes, when are you thinking at that point?
MATT FITZPATRICK: 59. It's hard not to. Up until that point, I had plenty of luck, a few bounces here and there, and holed every putt I looked at, really. Just felt really comfortable on the greens.

All I thought of was just give myself chances on the green and I felt like I could hole them. Something that unfortunately I didn't for a couple and never really quite got close enough. But yeah, it was a special 12 holes.

Q. When you get to that sort of level, nine through 12, what is the mental secret to stay out of your own way with that?
MATT FITZPATRICK: You know, it's a real funny one for me today because I don't feel like tee-to-green I played that well. I'm sure people will be sat at home thinking, he must have played well. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of good approaches, but just struggled a little bit off the tee.

Around here it's really important to get yourself in play off the tee. If you can hit 14 fairways, there's always a score out there, basically.

Q. Going into tomorrow, we know the weather is going to be very different. It's going to be a bit more breeze out there. I don't know if you're aware of that. How do you go about preparing for that? Do you change anything? So far it's been calm every day?
MATT FITZPATRICK: I don't think so. I think you've just got to go out there and sort of play with what you've got. If you sort of just stick to your game plan, obviously you might take a few different clubs off different tees and another wind direction, but I think you've just got to go out there and see how it goes.

It's a funny one, I think in nine holes, I had ten putts. So when you are putting that well, you sort of tend to just run with it. Got a few lucky bounces along the way and yeah, just one of those days where everything went right, and slightly missed shot and it tends to bounce towards the green rather than away. I'm going to go work on the range.

Q. When you were 9-under par through 12 holes, what goes through your head at that point in terms of the possibilities of how low that round could be?
MATT FITZPATRICK: You know, you're always thinking, 59, you really are. It's difficult not to. Even though I wasn't playing great, I knew how well I was putting and I felt if I could just give myself those chances on the greens, I could make the putts, basically.

So I didn't feel it would take much to just pick up a few more birdies. I only needed four. I knew 18 was obviously reachable and then a couple of those, you just get it nearby the hole and you sort of try and take your chance. But you know, it's so difficult.

I know I heard on the putting green this morning, DJ shot 8-under yesterday and apparently it was the easiest 8-under the guys have ever seen, but mine was I little bit different story, probably the most difficult.

The end of the day, the game is all about scoring, and obviously I've scored ridiculously well today. That's what's nice. I'm back in the tournament and it's something at the start of the year that I wanted to do is contend more. First week back is always nice. It's always a good start.

Q. Do you do anything to just keep the putter pampered overnight when it's behaved as well as it has done?
MATT FITZPATRICK: Maybe take it to bed, I don't know. Just keep going through the same routine in your warmup and everything, and just try to carry on with everything I've been doing.

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