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Player Profile

Matthew Fitzpatrick: the season so far

by Dave Tindall
Updated On: April 14, 2020, 11:39 am ET

Age: 25

 

World ranking (current/end of year)

Current: 25th
2019: 25th
2018: 39th
2017: 29th
2016: 30th

 

Current 2020 Stats

FedEx Cup Rank: 100th
Events: 6
Wins: 0
Top 10: 2
Top 25: 2
Made Cut: 6
Money: $645,716

 

Strokes Gained

Off-The-Tee: 45th (2019: 35th, 2018: -, 2017: -)
Approach: 95th (2019: 33rd, 2018: -, 2017: -)
Around The Green: 129th (2019: 43rd, 2018: -, 2017: -)
Putting: 95th (2019: 110th, 2018: -, 2017: -)
Tee-To-Green: 68th (2019: 18th, 2018: -, 2017: -)
Total: 64th (2019: 23rd, 2018: -, 2017: -)

 

Analysis

To U.S. audiences, Fitzpatrick, just 25, still seems like a relatively new kid on the block. And, indeed, he didn't play enough on the PGA TOUR in 2017 and 2018 to pick up SG rankings. But this is a player who has ended the last four calendar years in the top 30 in the world and just look at how solid his SG numbers were in 2019 when highs included second place at Bay Hill and T4 in the WGC at St. Jude. This year he's 6-for-6, with seventh in another WGC (HSBC Champions) and T9 at Bay Hill, clearly one of his favorite tracks. He's also finished runner-up at the European Tour's prestigious Abu Dhabi Championship (January). One surprise in the above numbers is his low SGP ranking. He's known as an excellent putter the other side of the pond, so much so that he ranked 1st in Strokes Gained: Putting on the European Tour in 2019. Fitzpatrick was 4th for SGP at St. Jude but needs to find more consistency on PGA TOUR greens. 

Grade so far: B- 

 

Matthew Fitzpatrick 2020 quotes

WGC-HSBC Champions (on determination to get better): "I'm always very tough on myself. Everyone tells me that. I don't see Tiger Woods or any of the boys at the top going easy on themselves. It's what makes me tick, I guess. I just want to get better all the time."

Abu Dhabi Championship (on bouncing back from a three-putt at 12 to play the rest of the round in 3-under): "That's one thing I want to be better at this year is sort of my attitude and patience, and so far this week, I certainly did that. Getting off to the start I did is not ideal, but it is what it is. Just got to try and grind it out and get back."

Abu Dhabi Championship (after his second place finish): “I'm delighted. It's a great start to the year, and sort of you're always a little bit nervous when you come into the start of the year after taking so much time off (seven weeks). So to come back and play as well as I felt I have done is a positive."

Arnold Palmer Invitational (finishing T9 with +1) "I can't think of anywhere else that sort of played like as hard as this, really. But I mean, I'm all for it like this. Like I would so much rather play it like this every week where it's a battle and you got to go work hard and grind instead of wide open fairways, no wind."

 

THE MAJORS (most recent result on the left)

The Masters: 21-38-32-7-DNP-MC

Finishing T7 at Augusta National in his first major as a pro suggested Fitzpatrick might take to them like a duck to water. Surprisingly, it remains his only top ten. The Englishman ranked 1st in GIR that year (75.9%) but has only hit 61.1% the last two years. However, his Putting Average has improved each year (1.59 good enough for 8th for PA in 2019) so he definitely has the game to be a success in The Masters despite a perception that he may not hit it far enough.

PGA Championship: 41-MC-MC-49

Perhaps as hinted at in his above quotes, Fitzpatrick doesn't quite get the juices flowing in the major most similar to a standard PGA TOUR event. He's 2-for-4 and yet to have a top 40. Early days of course. This year we're at Harding Park in California, a course he's not played previously.

U.S. Open: 12-12-35-54-DNP-48

One top ten in 19 major starts is one way of looking at Fitzpatrick's career at this level so far. But there are more positive spins. Clearly, the U.S. Open suits him: he's been T12 the last two years (Pebble and Shinnecock), was low amateur on his debut (Pinehurst) in 2014 and clearly he enjoys the grind. After his good performance at Shinnecock, a return to New York for this year's edition at Winged Foot should put him in the crosshairs for gamers.

Open Championship: 20-MC-44-MC-DNP-DNP-44

There's no 2020 Open so Fitzpatrick will have to wait for a crack at Royal St. George's in 2021. On the face of it, he's underperformed and yet he was low amateur at Muirfield in 2013. Last year's T20 at Royal Portrush was a better effort and part of an improving majors record which showed him finishing T21 or better in three of the four last year. Two top sevens in his last three WGCs adds to the feeling that his time is coming in big events. A final note: the 25-year-old has claimed four of his five European Tour wins between September and November so the majors being played later in the year this time could suit him.

Dave Tindall
Dave Tindall is former golf editor at Sky Sports.com in the UK and has been writing betting previews for the European Tour since 1997. He can be reached via e-mail on tindall_david@hotmail.com and on Twitter @davetindallgolf.