Ryder Cup: Commentator says Rory McIlroy has been ‘scapegoat’
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Matthew Fiztpatrick has picked up his seventh European Tour win of his career, following a two shot victory at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters at the famous Valderrama course in Spain.
Despite starting the final day three shots back the Englishman rallied in the fourth round – as many fell away around him – to shoot a two-under-par 69 on day four to ensure he was the man coming away with the trophy.
The iconic Spanish course proved a tricky test throughout, as seen across the opening two days as world No 1 Jon Rahm crashed out after carding 10-over for the tournament, and missing the cut by five shots.
A spirited Fitzpatrick kept his name in the hunt throughout the week and finally took advantage on day four thanks to a patient showing from the 27-year-old.
Following his win the European Ryder Cup player described victory at Valderrama as a ‘bucket list’ win following the iconic European Tour history surrounding the course and event.
He said: “It’s on the bucket list to win around Valderrama with the history that it has and to do it bogey-free on Sunday is extra special, so I’m delighted.
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Fiztpatrick went on to reveal that patience was the key to his triumph, on what proved a tricky scoring golf course across the four days.
He added: “It’s amazing, particularly with the way I did it. Very patient all day, I didn’t try to press anything and we stuck to our targets and I managed to hole the putts at the end and I’m delighted with the win.”
The Spanish course has been synonymous with historic European Tour performances throughout the years, mostly from some of Spain’s own with Seve Ballesteros and Sergio Garcia excelling in the past.
As a result Fitzpatrick spoke on just how tough it was out there, giving himself extra credit for the attitude he displayed across all 72 holes.
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The 27-year-old commented: “I mean you can hit half decent shots and be behind a tree, and you’re chipping out, or you’ve got to maneuver around something.
“It’s a true test and to sort of be patient the whole 72 holes, I’m really pleased with the way my attitude was all week.”
Fitzpatrick’s fellow Englishman Laurie Canter was the man who held the overnight lead heading into round four, as he had a three-shot advantage on the chasing back on seven-under.
However the former Ryder Cup course began to take its grip around the round three leader, as he cancelled out an early birdie at five with a double bogey at the par three sixth, and a bogey at the seventh.
A birdie-less back nine that included three frustrating bogeys followed for Canter, as he saw himself slip out of contention and finish on two-under for the tournament in tied-fourth, following a five-over 76.
Whilst the Englishman struggled, Swede Sebastian Soderberg made his move as two birdies and an eagle in his opening four holes pushed him well into contention.
However like Canter, Sodeberg soon fell victim to the difficult depths of the Valderrama back nine as he ended his tournament with a double bogey and a bogey on his final two holes, to leave him at three-under in a tie for second.
Whilst the field squandered, a calm and collective Fitzpatrick swooped in with a bogeyless final round to secure a seventh European Tour crown.
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