Player Blog

Matt Fitzpatrick - Player Blog

In this week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, U.S. Open Championship winner Matt Fitzpatrick recounts tales of New York stardom, Sheffield anonymity and being brought right back down to earth upon his return to the UK.

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I’ve heard lots of people from golf and from other sports and they say that when they reach their career goals, get that massive win, it doesn’t feel as good as they maybe expected. It was the absolute polar opposite for me, it was just an unbelievable feeling, one that was way better than I expected. It’s been such an incredible couple of weeks – I can’t believe it’s been two weeks, it’s gone so quickly.

There was a moment after I signed my scorecard at Brookline where Ted, my manager and best friend, was being really serious, organising everything and making sure everything went perfectly, and then he just turned around, slapped me on the back and he just said, “mate, you did it”. I don’t know why, but it really hit home at that point that I was a Major champion. 

Straight after the prize presentation at Brookline, I did two and a half hours of media which was just such a whirlwind, and then I was signing hats, flags, shirts – you name it, I was signing it. I finished everything probably around 11:45pm, went back to the house and of course, what was on TV as soon as I got in… the U.S. Open rerun!

We were just about the point of six holes left when we turned it on, so we watched that through to the finish, I’d had a little drink of champagne and by the time we were finished it was close to three o’clock. I didn’t get much sleep that night, woke at probably around 7:30am and then we had some more media to do that day with the USGA. The guys from the USGA were just so good, they were great people and it was a really fun experience.

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I flew to New York on Monday night and then Ted took me through a big media run in New York City, with some radio shows, TV shows and podcasts. It was a lot of fun.

On Thursday I went down to New Jersey and just took a bit of time to relax and then last week I flew back to Sheffield.

It’s funny, I haven’t really been recognised or stopped that much around Sheffield since I’ve come back. I was in Manchester last week and two builders did come up and say, are you Matt Fitzpatrick, but maybe that’s because I was carrying the trophy around with me!

But in New York, it was unbelievable, I had a lot of people recognise me and come up to me which was really nice. I guess maybe it’s because it’s their national open that it means a lot more to the Americans, but it was a really good feeling to get such a nice reception, people were just great to me.

After all off the winners’ duties and the media and everything I had to do, I would say there was a point when I had about 300 messages on my phone that I needed to reply to – and that was just my American phone.

It took me a whole week to get back to everyone that had messaged me and then of course when I flew into the UK, I started using my UK phone – I had it with me but never really looked at it – and there were a load more messages on there too.

It was really nice to see all of the messages from players and other people saying how happy they were, not only for me, but for my family as well. My parents and Alex have always kept my feet on the ground throughout my career which I think has been really important. And made me the player and the person I am today.

They’ve never asked me to buy them a nice car or a big house, they’ve never asked me for anything, so it was really nice to have given them that moment at Brookline where we were all together and celebrated together. It made it so special.

It was a massive team effort though, apart from my family I do have a big team around me and they’ve all contributed in their own way.

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It’s a funny story about when I came home to Sheffield for the first time since the win. My parents are constantly at me about cancelling the subscriptions and shutting everything off in my house in Sheffield, because I pretty much live in America. They just don’t want me to paying those monthly bills, but I like coming home to Sky Sports in my house and all those comforts, so I can just be home and settle back in.

When I came back from the USA I got into the house and there was no wifi and the boiler was off – they’d shut everything off while I was away - so I had to switch that on to get some heating and hot water in the house. I guess that’s just parents for you isn’t it.

I’m really looking forward to getting back to the Genesis Scottish Open now. I guess it’s about time I get back to my real job, if you can call it that! It’s crazy because this week is such a big event but to be honest, I really haven’t been able to think about it up until this point with everything that’s been going on.

But it’s going to be a great week, it’s a course that I really like and I’ve obviously played well there before so that’s nice too. But to be returning for the first time since Brookline in front of British crowds and such knowledgeable fans is going to be really cool and I’m sure I’ll get a really nice reception.

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I think it’s incredible that it has been co-sanctioned now with the PGA TOUR and it’s just going to make it a much bigger event. The field is obviously unbelievable with the top players in the world playing and I’m really looking forward to battling it out with those guys.

I thought it was a great announcement by the DP World Tour and the PGA TOUR last week. I think it’s amazing for the DP World Tour and it will only make it stronger. It’s not only going to provide a pathway to the PGA TOUR from the DP World Tour but also vice versa, it will give more opportunity for American and world players to come back and play some of the events in Europe and beyond.

You look at the Genesis Scottish Open, the Horizon Irish Open last week and all those other historic events on the DP World Tour, they’re all such brilliant events with big crowds and a great atmosphere and I’ve always loved playing them. I think this deal will hopefully make the DP World Tour and all of those events stronger so I think it’s exciting times for sure.

To be honest, there will be no better place to be returning to Major golf, having become a Major champion, than St Andrews. It’s going to be just incredible to be introduced on that first tee as the U.S. Open Champion.

I think it definitely makes a difference now that I’ve managed to win one, I feel like I’ll approach the Majors a bit different now confidence-wise. You can see why some of those players who win one Major go on to win a few more – they just feel invincible for a while.

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