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October 9, 2020

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Virginia Water, Surrey, England

Wentworth Golf Club

Press Conference

Q. 65 in windy conditions for 12-under. What's been your strength out there for two days?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Everything's been solid, really. Drove the ball well. Chipped well. Putted well. Iron play is good. The it's been nice that it's all come together to be honest. I feel the last few weeks I've done three things well and one thing's been off. It's nice for it all to come together.

Q. Nice to be back in the U.K. playing golf?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It's nice. I wish it was a bit warmer, but no, it is great. It's great. Golf courses the last two weeks, hospitality, just back on The European Tour seeing familiar places is great.

Q. What's the next step, seeing such great golf early in your career, what do you feel is next?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Just try to win a little more, really. You look at the top guys that are winning multiple times a year, and last year, had a better year and didn't win, so just getting a few more over the line.

Q. Talk about the eagle on the 4th.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, me and Billy were really seeing opposite there. We talk a lot about where we see the ball landing, club choice, and it's funny, he said pitching wedge. I said absolutely no chance, no chance with that. I hit 60 and just a little chip-and-run, and worked out to perfection.

Q. What are the thoughts heading into the weekend now, obviously this is a massive title on The European Tour and you've given yourself an excellent position.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, this is my best position I've been here. I love the golf course. I've always felt it suited my game. Never really kicked on around here, I don't think, but if I can just keep playing how I've been playing, make some putts, as well, there's no reason why I can't finish it off.

Q. What is it about the course that suits your game?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: You've got to hit fairways. You've got to hit fairways. You've got to hit greens. It's not an easy golf course, and particularly right now, it's playing long, as well.

Q. How would you describe your game? You said three things have been working and one thing has been off.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It's been exactly that. It's been very hit and miss. Just not as consistent as last year, I would say.

But yeah, it's just been really strange. It's been really difficult to put my finger on it. Just drove the ball really well at times and irons have been off, and putting's been off or putting's been on. Really it's been a mixed bag and this is the first week I genuinely feel, in particular, comfortable with my irons, and everything else, the level where I want it.

Hopefully sort of keep pushing on.

Q. Is that the result of, I don't know how you were affected by in terms of seeing your coach or whatever in lockdown.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I didn't see Mike for three months until golf was allowed again, so it was about two weeks before, maybe a week before we went over to the States.

So yeah, it was a long period of time. That could be it. I wouldn't really say my swing changed too much over that period, anyway. But yeah, I wouldn't necessarily put it down to that, I don't know.

Q. Does experience around here help you at all?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I think the fact about the wind, not to be rude to Billy, he'll probably agree, quite old school, so he used a wind map. I don't see many other caddies use a wind map. I think that little extra bit of experience around here where it swirls is very important and I know he's done well around here with multiple players.

I think maybe coming down the stretch, it will but a different game nowadays and I think it's a completely different course this week from what we are used to for sure.

Q. DeChambeau hitting 390 yards --

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Seeing everyone talk about it -- I'm going to be biased because I'm not quite the longest, but Winged Foot, fair play to him, he won and shot 6-under, but Winged Foot, the fairways were tight as hell, and I drove it brilliantly, and I actually played pretty well, and I'm miles behind. He's in the rough and miles up and he's just hitting wedges everywhere. It just makes a bit of a mockery of it I think.

I just looked at Shot Tracker yesterday, some of the places he hit it, and he's cutting corners -- when he's on, there's no point, is there. There's no point. It doesn't matter if I play my best, he's going to be 50 yards in front of me off the tee, and you know, the only thing I can compete with him is putting, and that's just ridiculous.

Q. Fancy putting on 40 pounds?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No, not any time soon. Not good for your back.

Q. Shane was just saying, he lost his rhythm trying to hit it too hard. Is that something you go through?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: If anything, I'm going to the opposite way, just trying to work on slowing it down. I've always been a quick player in terms of rhythm-wise, and I just did a lot of looking at some of the best iron players currently. You look at Rory, Collin Morikawa, Tiger, all of them, Paul Casey, all of them have a really sort of emphasis on slow takeaway. Deliberate, very deliberate, slow takeaway, and that's something I've been working on to kind of slow it down because when it gets quick it gets out of position and then it's out of sync.

Q. Do you have any hope that the R&A and USGA will do something about distance?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I really hope they do. I really hope they do. My opinion, it's not a skill to hit the ball a long way in my opinion. I could put on 40 pounds. I could go and see a biomechanist, and I could gain 40 yards; that's actually a fact. I could put another two inches on my driver. I could gain that.

But the skill in my opinion is to hit the ball straight. That's the skill. He's just taking the skill out of it in my opinion. I'm sure lots will disagree. It's just daft.

Q. Do you think he's a one-off or do you think other people will try?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I don't necessarily think people will try and copy him putting all that weight on, but I think people -- you'll see people going harder at it. You look at the college kids coming out now, Matt Wolff, Hovland, they just smash it, basically. I know Matt a little bit and he's a great player, but it just seems to me, smash it and get after it and play the next one from wherever it is.

It's a great mentality to have. But I think it probably not -- it's probably not quite as consistent as maybe like plodding yourself around. Collin Morikawa would be a good example that.

Q. Do you think it's inevitable that somebody like Bryson is going to injury himself the way he goes after it?

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I think so, I don't know, he'll probably tell me otherwise, he's got a trainer or whatever he's doing in the gym. But the speed that you're moving the club and your back weren't made to rotate as much as we do in golf. So all that stuff, it will take a toll eventually.

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