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January 17, 2020

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Q. 68 yesterday and 67 today. No bogeys on the scorecard for 36 holes.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, for the first tweak of the year, to have no bogeys, couldn't ask for a better start, really. Yeah, just played really disciplined golf and it's worked out well so far.

Q. Obviously haven't played for a little while. How well prepared did you feel coming in? Have you done a lot of work and thought you're ready to go?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it's one of those, I took it easy as soon as I finished Dubai and then sort of slowly started to build it up and then two weeks before, sort of got really into it. Got ready for the start of the year. But when we went to play nine holes on Tuesday, I felt a little bit uncomfortable. All sort of new again, seven weeks off, and then as the round went on, I got into it again. Yeah, just feels like normal.

Q. Career-high finish for you last year in The Race to Dubai, finished top of the strokes gained category. Is that evidenced in the fact that you're doing the right things and lack of a win is just one of those things?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Definitely, if you finish top of that every year, you'll be fine. Yeah, I think there's probably only one time in the year I thought it was my fault, people sort of went out there and won it themselves.

Q. You're one of the quickest players on Tour. We have some new rules in place. Did you see evidence of DeChambeau playing more quickly?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, definitely, and I saw he said hitting it longer will help with pace of play. Regardless of that, he was definitely faster. Credit to The European Tour, it definitely has been faster. The group in front, they were really slow, but yesterday we were around in four and a half hours. I can't remember when I felt it was that quick.

Q. 67, no bogey, is that the area you're most happy with?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, definitely, no bogey over 36 holes at the start of the season is great.

Q. How did you spend the time in the break? Did you stay away from the golf clubs all together?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, it's funny, I think probably about ten days, I think maybe two weeks, actually, but didn't even open the flight bag until I got back, which is a first. It was a little weird when I first picked them up again, but yeah, I think slowly got back into it as my time off was running out.

Q. Looking at your season last year, incredible performance, especially over the Rolex Series Events. Are these events that you treat differently going into them?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No, to be honest. For me every event is the same. You're here to win. Don't matter what you're playing for, really. Obviously it's always a nice bonus, playing for more money and more points, Ryder Cup. You've got to go in with the same attitude.

Q. Will Abu Dhabi being the first week the pace of play policy comes into effect, have you noticed any changes on the course? Is it visibly faster?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, yesterday definitely was. Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised. Today the group in front were a bit slow, but I think going into the weekend, we're back in and it will be two-balls and won't be a problem.

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