Six Majors on Fitzpatrick’s bucket list, now that’s one less after US Open

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Matt Fitzpatrick - TheGolfingHub
Matt Fitzpatrick is still coming to terms with the high of winning his first Major at the US Open. Photo: dailysabah.com

Good morning to Matt Fitzpatrick, our 2022 U.S. Open champion. Thank you all
for joining us. Matt, if you can just take us through what the last couple of days has been like now that you are a U.S. Open champion.

Matt: Yeah, it’s just been incredibly surreal. It’s all been, all just happened incredibly fast. Didn’t get finished with media and signing until late on Sunday night and then on Monday there was a bit more media and a few other things to do, and then came into the city last night as well. Yeah, it’s been great just to sort of spend the time with my family and
my friends as well here, it’s been amazing.

Matt, looking ahead to St. Andrews, no Englishman has won The Open Championship since Nick Faldo 30 years ago. Is that on your mind and do you think that being a Major winner now gives you a better chance at being in contention there?

Matt: I’ve not even thought about The Open yet, to be honest. Obviously, still fresh after last weekend. I definitely think that experience obviously of winning the U.S. Open holds me in good stead going into future Majors, having been there and done it now
and proven to myself and proven to other people around me that I’ve won Majors. Major is
a big deal, and to have that going into any event is a big positive. So I’ll definitely take
confidence in that going into The Open.

 

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You mentioned you’re coming home to the U.K., but what do your golfing preparations look like between now and St. Andrews?

Matt: I’ll play JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland, which is the Monday, Tuesday before the Scottish Open and then I’ll play the Scottish Open as well on top of that just before The Open.

When we spoke last year, you talked about you felt as though you’ve still not realised that potential of a lot of people have talked to you about ever since the first Brookline. What do you feel is now having won the Major, what do you feel your potential is?

Matt: I feel like I’ve just proven to myself that I can do more. I feel like I can go and win other Majors now. I feel like this has just given me a massive confidence boost in knowing that I’ve achieved this. And people said it in the past about winning on DP World Tour, those wins give you confidence in regular events. And they do, there’s no doubt about that, but winning a major’s just a different level and that really does give me a hell of a confidence boost going into any event now. So yeah, I’m looking forward to teeing it up in
Scotland in a couple weeks and playing in my first event as a major champion.

In the wake of a big win, some crazy things can happen. Have you had recognition or crazy messages or what’s the daftest thing that’s happened in the last couple of days?

Matt: Yeah, I’ve had some pretty cool messages, but yeah, just probably recognise that dinner just down the street in New York last night was kind of a little bit weird, and the guy actually did a triple take. I watched him walk past and then he walked back and then he walked past again just to say “well done,” so I appreciated that. Yeah, that was probably the funniest thing.

Looking at the future Majors, you seem to be pretty precise about six was the
number that you had set previously and you’re going forward. Why six? Is there a bit of Faldo in there?

Matt: Everyone’s now kind of taken it that I said I want to win six Majors. Yeah, of course I want to win six Majors, but it was kind of a bit of a joke between me and my pals that anyone who has six Majors is like part of this mythical legends group that we created. So we look at the names on who’s won what and that’s kind of what we created amongst ourselves, just me and my pals. Now it’s out there, everyone thinks that six is what
I’m going to win. I’m just trying to win one at a time and keep doing what I’m doing.

 

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I’m sure you’ve managed to pick up now on how captivated people were, particularly by the dynamics of you going down the stretch with Zalatoris, and that’s something that the LIV can’t offer with their shotgun start. I wonder if that was a nice by-product for you that you’ve underlined what the PGA Tour can offer really on the final day when it comes down to the final pairings?

 

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Matt: I think for me, traditional 72-hole stroke play is in my opinion, it brings out the best player of each week. Particularly, that’s what you want to have particular to the Majors. I think having 72 holes over four days, it always creates that extra tension. There’s extra pressure and stress and I think it just shows who can sort of come out on top and I think that’s why in my opinion it’s the best format to decide the best players. I understand why they’ve gone down that route with the format they have. Yeah, it’s different and it’s probably enjoyable and decent to watch maybe, but I think it’s hard when you’ve got
a guy finishing up on No. 2 and a guy finishing on 17 that are going to win. It definitely
makes it difficult. Yeah, I think 72 regular stroke play is the way to go.