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Alex Fitzpatrick loving life in Australia as he looks to round off year in style

Alex Fitzpatrick loving life in Australia as he looks to round off year in style

Alex Fitzpatrick is relishing the chance to cap off his first full year as a professional in memorable fashion by winning his maiden DP World Tour title at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.

The Englishman, who left the amateur ranks in June 2022, catapulted into contention in Sydney on Saturday with a five-under-par 66 that saw him play the back nine in 30 to sit one adrift of co-leaders Min Woo Lee and Rikuya Hoshino.

Fitzpatrick secured his full playing privileges on the DP World Tour at the end of last season through a series of strong results in the summer, during which he also claimed his first professional victory on the European Challenge Tour.

He will now look to elevate his career a step further with victory at The Australian Golf Club in a historic national open which features a strong international leaderboard.

“This is my last event of the year, I am kind of excited to have a little bit of time off,” Fitzpatrick, younger brother of Major champion Matt, said.

“A goal was at least for one event of these [past] two weeks to be in contention. It’s nice to be in contention and hopefully a good round tomorrow and you never know.”

The 24-year-old made his Major Championship debut at The Open earlier this year and said staying “grounded” thanks to the support of his family and team has proved pivotal to his development.

“I’ve got an amazing group of people around me, just the best team I could ask for, best coach, just everything going on,” he said.

“I’m very lucky with my family and who I know and I can talk to a lot of people about the experience and how to develop my game.

“I think that’s the biggest thing for me, is just having the right people around me, just keeping you grounded, trying to make sure you work hard and push on as much as I can and hopefully I’ll keep having some success along the road.”

Fitzpatrick began the third round five shots adrift of halfway leader Lee and he dropped further behind with a bogey at the eighth.

But after his first birdie of the day at the tenth, he hit his stride with birdies at the 12th and 15th alongside an eagle at the 15th before picking up another shot on the par five 18th.

This is Fitzpatrick’s first visit to Australia and he is enjoying playing in front of big crowds.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “For some reason they took a warm liking to me, I’m not sure why, but the support couldn’t be any better.

“I actually had a few local lads for some reason following round, but the atmosphere is incredible and hopefully I have a good day tomorrow and keep the fans happy.”

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