Swiss victory is sweet moment for Fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick with the trophy after retaining his Omega European Masters title in Switzerland  (Picture: Getty Images).
Matt Fitzpatrick with the trophy after retaining his Omega European Masters title in Switzerland (Picture: Getty Images).
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Sheffield’s Matt Fitzpatrick has no issues with being left out of the Ryder Cup, despite winning the Omega European Masters title in Switzerland.

The Englishman claimed a play-off victory over Lucas Bjerregaard to become the first man since Seve Ballesteros in 1978 to defend the crown in the week where he missed out on a captain’s pick for this month’s match play competition.

European captain Thomas Bjorn chose to go with experience for his four wild cards, picking Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia, meaning Fitzpatrick will have to wait to add to his 2016 appearance.

The 24-year-old accepts he has not played well enough to warrant a call.

Asked if he had any regrets at missing out he said: “Not at all, genuinely I don’t.

“I didn’t play well enough this summer, it’s as simple as that.

“I don’t hold anything against Thomas for not picking me, I completely understand why he has gone for experience, it is vital in Ryder Cups.

“This is what I wanted to achieve this season – another win. To get it here is so special and to get my fifth is amazing.”

Fitzpatrick had to work hard for his repeat success in the Swiss Alps, though, as he needed to birdie the final hole to force a play-off – despite coming into the final round with a two-shot lead.

Two early bogeys did not help, but it was mainly the form of Bjerregaard that made it a difficult afternoon.

The Dane fired a blemish-free seven-under-par 63 to come through the pack and have the clubhouse lead.

Fitzpatrick hustled on the back nine and three birdies – including the one at the 18th – sent it to an extra hole, where he sent in a 10-footer for victory.

“It was really tough, of all of my wins this was the most difficult,” he added.

“I didn’t have my A-game. I just didn’t play my best, I managed to grind it out, made some crucial birdies coming in. I am delighted, this is one of my best.

“I feel I am playing way better now than I was this time last year. I can’t say how happy I am.”

As for his attitude towards the play-off, the former US Amateur champion said: “Me and Alistair [his caddie] agreed, ‘just go out and try and win it, don’t hope that the other guy doesn’t play too well’. That’s what we did and I can’t say how happy I am that it paid off.

“This is what I wanted to achieve this season – another win. To get it here again is so special and to get my fifth is amazing. I love this place.”