Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick left bunkered in race to make Euro 2020 final

Sheffield’s Matt Fitzpatrick and fellow golfer Ian Poulter have revealed how a last-minute dash to Wembley for Sunday’s Euro 2020 final ended in disappointment.

Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Both players had tickets for England’s clash with Italy but were contesting the abrdn Scottish Open hundreds of miles away in North Berwick.

A 90-minute delay for bad weather during the final round made their task of getting to the game for an 8pm kick-off even harder, with Poulter arriving late in the second half and Fitzpatrick not even allowed in with 10 minutes of extra time left. Poulter wrote on Instagram: “What a crazy day. Tee off at 11.11 and shoot 8 Under par 63 to hold the Clubhouse Lead for a long time.

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“Weather delay keeps us from leaving the course and catching an all important flight to make the (England football) match.

“Finally when play resumed and 1 player had posted -18 we left for the plane. @netjets did what they do best and got me to the stadium for the second half.

“@Euro2020 wouldn’t let me into the ground for a good chunk of the second half, not sure why. Anyway finally made it in to watch the remainder of the game. Amazing experience with a few of us in a box and truly gutted for the lads to not finish it off in penalties.”

Fitzpatrick, who suffered the additional agony of losing on the first hole of a play-off, wrote on Twitter: “Not to be on Sunday, in more ways than one!!

“Happy with my week, played really solid just couldn’t get it over the line,” said Fitzpatrick, who tees off in Thursday’s Open at 1.04pm. “Shot off to try and make the final at Wembley (rain delay didn’t help!) got there with 10 mins of extra time to go but wouldn’t let me in...devastated.”

Fellow Sheffielder Danny Willett tees off at 7.19am at Royal St George’s, Hallowes’s Sam Bairstow goes at 1.37pm, followed by Howley Hall’s Ben Hutchinson at 3.43pm.

Shane Lowry’s long wait to get the defence of his Open title under way will see him go out in the marquee group alongside Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen.

The honour of hitting the first tee shot will go to the veteran Richard Bland. He tees off at 6.35am with fellow Andy Sullivan and Yorkshire’s Marcus Armitage.

The last group out, at 4.16pm, includes debutant Nick Poppleton, while fellow Rotherham golfer Jonathan Thomson starts at 8.47am.