Matt Fitzpatrick remains convinced he was right to turn professional in the summer – even if he fails to earn a European Tour card this week.
The 20-year-old from Sheffield, who won the US Amateur title and was leading amateur at both the Open and US Open in a golden period, takes his place alongside 155 other hopefuls in Spain this week.
Over the next six days at PGA Catalunya, Fitzpatrick will attempt to negotiate six rounds of the most nerve-jangling golf he has ever experienced in a bid to win just 25 cards on the European Tour.
But whether he achieves his goal this week or has to ply his trade on the Challenge Tour next year – a fall-back option he has already earned in his limited time in the paid ranks – Fitzpatrick is at peace with his life-changing career move.
“It was definitely the right decision,” said Fitzpatrick, who turned professional after making the cut at the US Open. “A lot of people have said the same thing which is nice.
“I had achieved everything I could in the amateur game. It was time to move on.”
In the four European Tour events he played as a sponsors’ invite he made the cut twice, and then in nine starts on the Challenge Tour he earned enough money to gain a card on that circuit for next season.
Fitzpatrick said: “When you look at the order of merit I played fewer tournaments than anyone, and it’s nice to think that I got the most out of the tournaments that I played than anyone.
“I didn’t have any expectations on turning professional because I didn’t know what it was going to be like. Some things have gone well, some things haven’t. With it being my first year it was just a case of seeing how we go.”
Fitzpatrick progressed to the final stage of qualifying school by finishing in the top 10 at his second-stage site last week.
“I played solidly all week. It was important to have a good start and that will be key again this week,” he added.
Fitzpatrick will be joined in Catalunya by John Parry, who is back at the Q School marathon for the second time in three years, having won his card back with a solid performance in 2011.
Leeds’s Daniel Gavins is second reserve and will wait around until the final tee-time today hoping for withdrawals.