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July 21, 2013

Matthew Fitzpatrick


MIKE WOODCOCK: We have Matthew Fitzpatrick with us. Matthew, congratulations that's a fantastic performance today. I guess when you came through local qualifying at Gullane, you probably didn't have too many thoughts of how you would get on and get the silver medal. But you've played fantastic well to do that.


MIKE WOODCOCK: Can you tell us how your run went today.

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It went pretty steady. There wasn't much that went too wrong. I did have a double bogey in there again, which I probably need to cut out. I could do with just -- cut those out and I would have been a few shots better this week. But I played nicely, probably potentially the best I played all week, to be fair. I'm really happy.

Q. How proud are you of your achievement this week?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Really proud, yeah. Really proud. What it showed me is I can sort of compete with these guys. But I do know where they are; they are better. The big thing for me that showed today was Fred Couples hit putter from everywhere. He must have holed two from off the green. He putted fantastic. That's the difference. They hole the long ones. And that's not quite where I am. I've holed one today, so it was a nice bonus.

Q. Congratulations. Just wondering how are you going to celebrate tonight? And what will be your overriding memory from this week?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: How I'm celebrating tonight, probably a long four-and-a-half-hour drive home. But I don't know, I'll probably do something next week. Nothing too stupid. And then just -- there's so many things I can remember. Just had a great time. I'd probably say the highlight for me today was on 16, holing the long putt with everyone surrounding the green was just great. It's just a great feeling when you do hole the putt from a long way, anyways.

Q. Two questions, you're off to Luke Donald's old university. A, have you managed to speak to Luke or any thoughts about going there? And you've finally mastered the last two holes at last?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No, I met Luke for the first time this week. And seems like a really nice guy. And hopefully I'll get another chance to speak to him about college life. And then, yeah, last two holes today, I didn't particularly play them much better. 16 -- no, 17, I escaped the bunker by about a yard after a fat 5-iron, which wasn't even in the calculations to layup. And then 18, again, tried to play a little bit more aggressive off the tee and ended up the furthest right I've been all week and managed to get up and down from about 70 yards. It was a nice change from a double and a bogey.

Q. You had a lot of fist pumps going on with Freddie Couples. What are your thoughts on playing with Couples? And is he a hero of yours?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I wouldn't say he's a hero of mine. I think he's a great player. He's much better than I thought he was, from what I've seen today. Not that I thought he was poor or at all, but he strikes it so good. And for me the big thing is he's just got such a free-flowing swing. And he's a great putter, as well, really good putter, and I was really, really impressed with the way he hold out, as well. He's a really good player.

Q. Who is your hero then?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: That's a tough one. I don't really have a hero, if I'm honest. I'd probably say it's the classic for every little kid, I guess I could call myself that, but it's Tiger, really. And if I'm honest, I'm hoping that he wins today so that I can finally meet him (laughter).

Q. Can I ask, as well, what's the best piece of advice you've received from the pros around you during the last few days?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I didn't ask too much. In the practice round I asked what the guys look for in the practice rounds. If anything, I've learned from my caddie. Duncan's caddied for some great players in his time. He had to come out of retirement for me. Just learning how to plot my way around the golf course really, I've learned a lot about that. And I'll definitely take that to other events.

Q. Will this win get you off of baby-sitting duty?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: (Laughing) I'm not sure about that. Hopefully it might. I could do with the money, because I don't really have a job other than this.

Q. Who do you baby-sit for?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Just a couple of kids from the golf club. They're both pretty good golfers, actually?

Q. How did you get together with the caddie, Duncan?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Duncan lives in a motor home and he lives in Pete Cowan's car park. Pete is my -- I've done a bit of work with Pete. Pete's assistant, Mike Walker, is my coach. And they know him really, really well. And obviously he lives in the car park. So just through them, they set him up with me. And, yeah, he's been really -- I certainly couldn't have done it without him, certainly not.

Q. You're quite deservedly on a massive high, but you have the English Amateur in ten days' time. How are you going to manage to get yourself sorted out mentally in time to do that?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I think I'll have a few days off. And then sort of let it all settle down a bit. But I can't imagine it will. I think I'll be on my phone too much. I think I'll have a break and get back to practicing, just seeing where my game is at again and just take it from there, really. But one thing I would say is probably I can't imagine any other amateur event ever being as hard as the course we've played this week. The fairways are just so narrow and the rough is just ridiculously deep.

Q. But you're also going to go back to tournaments where there's two men and a dog there, whereas there are however many thousand here?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: That will be a little different. I'll have to keep my eye out for my ball, as well, because there won't be any spotters.

Q. Well done, Matt. You mentioned the need for sort of cash from baby-sitting, are there any other odd jobs you'll be doing to make ends meet? And how are you going to resist the temptation to turn pro?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Going to university is the big thing, and mum and dad make sure education comes first, rather than the golf. So I'll make sure -- I'll do my four years at Northwestern and get a good degree, hopefully. Something to fall back on if the golf doesn't work out. You never know what could happen. So that's really how I'm definitely going to not turn pro anytime soon.

Q. You got great reception coming down the 18th, how did that feel?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It was fantastic, yeah, it's been brilliant all week, the support. I could go on and on about it, but it's been amazing. Down 18 was pretty nice, to be fair. Although I did say to my caddie that I was hoping for a full grandstand, but he did say, "You're making a bit of a big wish there." It was just amazing. To hole out, as well, on the last one from about ten feet was a great way to finish. I didn't fancy a little one-foot tap-in. I thought it would be a bit boring.

Q. Would you say you feed off of that support? It was a great shot on 18, wasn't it?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Definitely. That is one thing I noticed, that when there's been a bigger crowd, I've played better. Which most people would find a bit strange, I guess. I've really enjoyed the support this week.

Q. You must have had a few offers from American universities. Do you know how many you had? And why Northwestern? What will you be studying there?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I had a few offers, but I really got a few over previous weeks before I won the British Boys. But all of a sudden I won that and it went pretty dead, which was really strange. But Northwestern was always in the running, really. Florida State was probably the other one that was close. But I think for me with Northwestern, it's a great academic school. It's 19th in the world or something. So that's something to get a degree from there and it would hold you in good stead. The coach, Pat Goss, is a really good coach. And a lot of guys over there aren't necessarily coaches. They're more managers, and I don't want to be hitting a 50-yard hooker and be told to go chip and putt. I need someone a little bit more hands-on, I guess. I'm not too sure what I'm going to study, to be fair. It works a bit differently over there. I think the first two years you do, like, different classes, like, five different classes, and then you major in your third or fourth year.

Q. Congratulations on a terrific performance this week.

Q. Are there any times during the week you've had to pinch yourself to think, is this really real? Am I living this dream? And secondly, what do you think the reaction will be back in the club?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I'm not too sure, really. The big thing for me was on the first day when I got asked if I'd got close to Tiger. That was a bit strange. And seeing Tiger on the range, for him to be so near was like one of the best things ever, really. It has been surreal, especially with the guys I've played with. I've said it a lot, but every single person I played with couldn't have been nicer to me. A lot of the time I don't always come across too well in the media, but they couldn't be more wrong. They've all been great guys to me. I really appreciate that. And the golf club, I think -- I don't really know -- I think they're all very happy of me, really proud. But I do know that I think I'm a bit more popular because they managed to move the TV from the spot bar to the main lounge, which has been a problem for a while.

Q. Just wondered how aware were you of how Jimmy Mullen is doing this week? Do you know him at all?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I don't really know Jimmy, I've played with him once, I think. And I've never really spoke to him, before this week. I've not spoken to him much before this week to be fair. Going around, there was no one sort of telling me where I was at until 17. My dad was at the side of the fairway going like that (indicating), I didn't quite know what he meant, and I then I sort of put two and two together, and got four. But that was, yeah, that was sort of when I had in mind of where he was. Before I went out, I did check his score, and I think he was 1-over after 5. I thought if I could be level after 5, that's one shot better or whatever.

Q. You just said that all the players you played with were incredibly helpful and good to you. Was there any one particular moment when Freddie or one of the others actually said or did something that was particularly helpful to you.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, the biggest one for me all week was Russell Henley on Friday. I hooked my ball into the shoulder high rough on 17, and literally as soon as it landed, he sprinted after it. And for me that just shows, that's like the ultimate gesture, I guess. But they've all been fantastic. They've all said kind words about me. It's just been an amazing week.

MIKE WOODCOCK: Thank you. Congratulations again.

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