July 17, 2021
Sandwich, Kent, England, UK
Q. Matt, can you reflect on today's performance and how satisfied you were with it?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I was really pleased. To shoot 3-under was positive for me, given the first two days' play. Yeah, obviously you always like to be better than that, but I'll take 3-under, I would have taken 3-under at the start of the day probably.
Q. Based on the conditions you saw out there, how low a score is possible do you think?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I think it depends. It seems like the wind is dying down now, which is disappointing from my side of it, but there's a few tricky pins that you've got to be careful of. I think that's what's great about this golf course is you do have to plot your way around. You really have to think about where you're hitting it off the tee and where you're hitting into the greens, which side you're going to miss it.
I think the golf course definitely challenges you with that.
I think there's probably -- someone is obviously going to hole a load of putts and shoot a really low one, but I don't think there's going to be too many super low scores, that's for sure.
Q. On the back nine you picked up three birdies; do you see that as being accessible today, or do you see there's a little bit of a balance? It was a little bit more accessible in the first two days; are the pins a little bit trickier today?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, for me personally I would say I picked up the three birdies on the holes where you would expect to pick up three birdies. 14 I hit 7-wood, 7-wood pin high and just missed the green but two-putted, so that's pretty straightforward for guys.
12, driver and probably 60 yards to the flag. I would say guys are going to get up-and-down there at least probably 30 per cent, 40 per cent of the time from those distances.
And then obviously you look at 17, as well, guys are driving it very close to the front and it's kind of a chip up the green. Yes, you have to hit a good chip, but these are the best players in the world, so I'd like to think that they're going to do that.
The rest of the holes it's kind of a grind. You do have to stick in.
Obviously the three birdie holes there I feel like -- don't get me wrong, they're not given, but they're definitely there to be birdied. From then on you've kind of got to hang on.
Q. While the breeze is dying, the heat is there and it seems to be firming up the course and the greens. Do you see that as kind of balancing out, or is it making the fairways and greens a bit trickier for the later groups?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I mean, I don't think it is firming up, personally. Maybe a tiny, tiny bit. It's definitely softer than Opens I've played in the past for sure. I mean, I stopped a pitching wedge pumping downwind on the last within five yards. That's not really links golf. Normal links golf you'd be looking to allow at least 10 of release downwind.
I definitely think it's still pretty soft. I don't think it's getting firmer, and particularly with less wind now, it's definitely the case.
Q. Would you be happy with the final nine, a bit of momentum going into the final day to get a good finish and a good position?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah. You know, I've got a chance to beat my best Open Championship finish. Obviously as things stand I'm well behind where I want to be with the leaders and stuff. It's just about trying to finish the best I can now in my opinion, and hopefully same tomorrow or a bit lower it would be a great week in the end.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports