Matt Fitzpatrick completed a fantastic fortnight with victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, as well as glory in the team event alongside mum Susan, just days after helping Europe lift the Ryder Cup.
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.
2023 Alfred Dunhill Links Team Champions
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) October 9, 2023
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 and it doesn’t get better.
“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 been such a great week. It’s amazing they managed to get us out today but it’s been such a great day today. I enjoyed the course and played at a great pace. It’s been lovely so it’s been another great week.”
— Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (@dunhilllinks) October 9, 2023
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 looked like he could threaten the lead as he carded an eagle and six birdies, but a bogey on the ninth – after starting on the 11th in a shotgun start – ended his chances as he signed for a 66.