Fitzpatrick set for Swiss title tilt
September 04, 2018
Matthew Fitzpatrick is keen to maintain his outstanding record at Crans-sur-Sierre this week as he looks to defend his title in style at the Omega European Masters.
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“It's a place I wanted to win round for a while, as soon as I got here back in 2014, so to do it last year was really special. It is pretty rare that you get to win and have your family here, and your best pal here as well, so to have that was amazing."
“It came at a great time in the season. I had just had a reshuffle of my game and had a look at where I needed to improve and literally within two weeks of making a plan it kind of paid off, and I went on to play well in the back end of the year.
The 24 year old beat Scott Hend in a play-off 12 months ago to land his fourth European Tour title but will defend his crown having not been back in the winner's circle since.
Top-ten finishes in Abu Dhabi, Wentworth and Denmark mean it has still been a productive season for the Englishman, and having finished second and seventh here before last year's triumph, Fitzpatrick is targeting another good week in Switzerland as he aims to become the first back-to-back winner since Seve Ballesteros in 1978.
“I feel like I have been playing solidly all year really, I've just not had any momentum or anything go my way, and not making the important putts unfortunately. Hopefully I can do that this week and kick on for the rest of the year and pick up a win."
“I love this golf course, I've played really well around it the last three years, and hopefully like you say continue my form and you never know. I've had some great rounds and just need to keep doing what I've been doing when I play here and take the chances when you get them."
“It's great to be in contention. I wouldn't say I have high expectations of getting the pick, but I did as best as I could last week and I felt like I left a tonne of shots out there, so to lose by three was disappointing given the fact that I did feel like I could have got so much more out of a couple of my rounds. We'll just have to see, whatever happens will happen.”
Another Englishman with his sights on victory is Matt Wallace, who comes into the tournament full of confidence having picked up a third win of the season with his play-off victory at last week's Made in Denmark.
“I love to try and win and I love winning. I got a taste of it last year and I wanted to do it on the bigger scale, and I want to do it again at bigger tournaments, so a goal of mine is to try and keep winning and it starts off trying to win this week."
“Different challenges this week but it is my second time here now, so I know a bit more of what to expect. If I can prepare as well as I do normally and get in the hunt, my mind and my heart can take over."
“I knew I had to win. There was nothing else I could do. I had to win that tournament and I backed it up, and in the style I did it in it was pretty special. Whatever Thomas and the vice-captains decide, I will accept and appreciate everything they have done for me. Just to be in a chance to get a pick is pretty cool.”
The 28 year old's triumph was his tenth on the professional scene in the last two years, but Wallace has no plans to rest on his laurels. He birdied five of his last six holes in a final round of 67 to get to 19 under alongside fellow Englishmen Steven Brown, Jonathan Thomson and Lee Westwood before gains on both extra trips up the last handed him a fourth European Tour win at Silkeborg Ry Golf Club.
They are are joined in the field by former champions of the event including 2016 Masters Tournament champion Danny Willett, former World Number One Westwood and Scot Richie Ramsay.
“It's a stunning place to come to and fortunately for me great memories, not just of 2012 but of other years where I feel like I have played well and been in contention on a course that I really enjoy, very tricky, but I like it that way," said Ramsay.
“I played lovely last week and I am very close to catching fire. I shot 13 under not putting that well. I hit a lot of good putts but perhaps my reads weren't my best, but obviously good memories here. A small change in the putting will make a huge difference in the scores, and I feel if I do that I will be right in contention.”