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Matt Fitzpatrick relishing links test at Open Championship

Matt Fitzpatrick relishing links test at Open Championship

Matt Fitzpatrick is relishing the thought of a proper coastal test at The 150th Open Championship, even if his record on links courses as a professional does not quite match his amateur success.

Matt Fitzpatrick

The newly minted U.S. Open Champion arrives at St Andrews fresh off a top ten at the Genesis Scottish Open, where occasionally gusting winds made for a very tough test in East Lothian.

After enjoying a stellar amateur career largely in Europe, the Englishman certainly has plenty of links experience, although he admits he would like his Open record to be better. He believes the most likely way that will be improved is if the winds blows, even if his own prowess in those conditions appears to have waned somewhat over time.

"I enjoy the challenge of it when it's windy and it's hard and you've got to grind," he said. "But if it's still and calm, I don't particularly enjoy playing that. When it's really hard, it's harder for everyone else, that's kind of why I enjoy the challenge more.

Matt Fitzpatrick

"I'll be honest, since I turned pro, obviously we play much less links golf, and I feel like I've got worse in the links and wind. Other golf courses in wind, I've played fine.

"I feel like, coming back here, it's taken time just to get used to it and where to land it, how to fly it. We're not put under that test as regularly out in regular events because either there's no wind or it's softer and you can just fly it to a certain spot.

"Obviously I'd like to improve on my record and I feel like I've obviously been playing much, much better since the last Open that I played.

I feel like I've obviously been playing much, much better since the last Open that I played

"It's just trying to do more of the same this year, just fix a couple of things from last week and hopefully take that into this week."

While Fitzpatrick has enjoyed consistent success at the upper echelons of the game – averaging a win every season since entering the paid ranks - his victory at the Country Club in Brookline last month has taken him to another level.

With more attention comes more responsibility but Fitzpatrick is happy to take it on, as long as his game does not suffer.

"Before I won a Major, I'd see the other guys doing press conferences and doing media and that sort of stuff, and I'm like 'that's what I want'.

"I want to be part of that and I want to do that and now it's happened, it's kind of like, 'oh, it's quite a lot'. It's a lot to take in.

“It's definitely different. You've got to manage your time differently and even better than before because you've got more people wanting your time and you've got to balance that.

"I'm enjoying it so far. At the end of the day, I've got to do whatever's right for me and my golf. So if I have to do less of this and make sure that my golf's OK, then that's what I'll have to do. It's just trying to find the balance in it but I'm enjoying it for now."

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