How Matt Fitzpatrick made it an Alfred Dunhill Links Championship to remember - thanks to his 'fantastic' mum
The Englishman won his first point in his third Ryder Cup appearance in Europe’s 16.5-11.5 victory over the United States eight days ago and admitted he was in Scotland for a “free-wheeling” week at the all-star pro-am event.
But he produced rounds of 67-64-66 over Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews – in an event which was reduced to 54 holes and ran into Monday after a weekend washout – to finish at 19 under, three shots clear of fellow Englishmen Marcus Armitage and Matthew Southgate and defending champion Ryan Fox.
He also became just the second player after Padraig Harrington to win the individual and team event in the same year after he and mum Susan registered net scores of 64-58-59 to win by five shots at 35 under.
“It doesn’t get better than this,” he said. “Winning at St Andrews, it’s just a very special place. We’ve been coming here for a long, long time as well.
“We played last year and didn’t quite play so well and this year she’s played fantastic and I played really solid as well. You just couldn’t ask for a better week.”
Susan Fitzpatrick added: “It’s amazing they managed to get us out today. I enjoyed the course and played at a great pace.”
It is Fitzpatrick’s 10th career win, first on DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) since 2021 Andalucia Masters and his second win of the season.
Fitzpatrick had been sat on his one-shot lead for two days after torrential rain left all three courses waterlogged over the weekend but showed no signs of rust as he birdied four of his first seven holes at St Andrews, with a bogey on the second.
That had him level at the top with Southgate who had made a fast start of his own but birdies at the 11th, 13th – courtesy of a long putt – 15th and last had him three shots ahead of Southgate and Kiwi Fox who fired rounds of 66 and 65 respectively.
Play had started later at Carnoustie to allow more time for the course to dry out and Armitage, who plays out of Howley Hall in Morley started the week 124th on the money list, needing a good week to retain his card.
He looked like he could threaten the lead as he carded an eagle and six birdies, but a bogey on the ninth ended his chances as he signed for a 66.