Golf-Fitzpatrick finally feels like he belongs at the Ryder Cup

  • Golf
  • Wednesday, 27 Sep 2023

Sep 27, 2023; Rome, ITA; Team Europe golfer Matt Fitzpatrick addresses the media in a press conference during a practice day for the Ryder Cup golf competition at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Matt Fitzpatrick said he feels more confident heading into the Ryder Cup after last year's U.S. Open triumph as he aims to earn his first points and create happier memories this year on his third appearance in the biennial event.

The Englishman lost all five matches he contested across his Ryder Cup debut at age 22 in 2016, when the United States won 17-11, and in Europe's 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits two years ago.

Fitzpatrick, 29, said he is a better player after those experiences and knows how to prepare for tournaments such as the Ryder Cup after winning a major championship last year.

"(It) does a world of good. You definitely feel much more like you belong," Fitzpatrick told reporters on Wednesday. "I think just having that confidence is a big help.

"You feel like you've had that success at the highest level before, and you feel that ... you can repeat that."

Fitzpatrick said he was disappointed by his previous two appearances in the event but added that, in hindsight, he felt 2016 was too early for his Ryder Cup debut.

"You build it up to be this amazing thing that you wanted to be part of, thinking that you'll get a real good go at it, and obviously I never did," he said. "Looking back, you could argue that I probably wasn't necessarily ready for 2016.

"I was still really young ... and my game wasn't necessarily ready for that. I wasn't obviously the longest back then. I was pretty short. There's quite a lot of technical difference in my swing between now and then as well.

"But at the same time ... it's what you learn from. And I feel like I know much more how to get ready for an event like this now."

The 44th Ryder Cup begins at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome on Friday.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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