March 4, 2021
Bay Hill, Florida, USA
Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Q. How would you describe your first round?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It was good. Yeah, it was a good day. Didn't really make any mistakes, hit plenty of greens and I think that's the key around here, you just got to limit the mistakes and play smart.
Q. How did you find the course playing today?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I thought it was great. I played nine holes Tuesday, it was a little bit slower, greens a little bit slower. I mean, I played here enough times to know now that come Thursday morning it's a big switch.
So it's great to see it slowly getting firmer and I think as the week goes on it's going to be interesting.
Q. Do you like where your game's kind of trending as we continue to ramp up this big part of the year of golf?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. To be honest, I took a lot of confidence from the end of the year, winning in Dubai, sort of I said it a couple weeks ago, just sort of really feeling comfortable with where my swing's at. Obviously that can change overnight, that's golf, but keep working on it away from tournaments and in practice and hopefully just keep the consistency going.
Q. You seem to be also not just playing well but playing tough golf courses well. Obviously Riviera and then a little bit at Concession and then obviously the round here today. What is it about tough golf courses that suits you, because it seems to be that way kind of throughout your career a little bit?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, the thing for me I think is you've just got to, in my opinion, you just got to have really good course management. You got to commit to every shot. I think that's the big difference. You've really got to plan your way around, you try and miss most of the time on the fat side and if you're out of position that's what you do.
If you're in position, you don't really go at flags, you sort of play smart, like I keep saying. And I think that's one thing I've been taught by my dad growing up, it was kind of to the course management side of it and that's where I had to take my advantage. It's not like I bomb it 320, so it's trying to find your advantages in other areas.
Q. Over the last few years where do you feel like you as a golfer has really grown, like as far as your game goes? Where do you feel like your strengths have really shown a little bit more in these last few years?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I think just more experience. The more I've been out here the more I've realized that, how important it actually is. Just learning from tournaments, learning the golf courses better, feeling more comfortable out here, I was saying to Billy today that two or three times on the golf course I've had putts before and I'm like, Well I know around this hole it's quick, I got to think about this one a bit more. Or that pin absolutely don't play anywhere near it, even if whatever club you've got, you can get caught out.
So that's been a big advantage for me, particularly here this week. I was counting, I think this is my seventh time I've played this event and I think it's one of my most played professional events. So to have that experience around here in particular is great and like I say, just some of these other golf courses we play, it's nice.
Q. You got a sponsors invite here from Mr. Palmer, correct, from winning the U.S. Amateur?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yes, I did.
Q. I know that kind of came with, this is one of those events that kind of came with winning the U.S. Amateur. But what did that mean to you, to play in Mr. Palmer's event back when you were an amateur still and kind of how did that maybe fuel your knowledge that this is what you want to do as a profession?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I mean, it was an absolute honor to get the invite from Mr. Palmer, for him to give me the opportunity to come play his tournament, that was amazing. I sort of had an amazing five weeks over here playing this and then on to the Masters and a couple of others.
Like I said, I guess it just goes back to the experience kind of thing. For him to give me the opportunity to learn and see how a PGA TOUR event is and try and compete myself and see where my game is against the best, it was, yeah, it was a valuable lesson and I know full well I learned from that. Some of the notes that I made then are useful now and likewise the experiences I had.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports