Golf: Matt Fitzpatrick targets upturn after impressing at Masters

Matt Fitzpatrick finished in a tie for seventh at The Masters
Matt Fitzpatrick finished in a tie for seventh at The Masters
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Danny Willett may be grabbing all the attention for his Masters triumph but fellow Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick also made a major impression at Augusta National.

Fitzpatrick matched Willett in carding the best round of the final day to finish on level par for the tournament, secure a tie for seventh place and earn an invitation for next year’s event.

And the 21-year-old believes his performance in the first Major of 2016 could kick start his year.

“I think for me it’s just a momentum boost coming into the rest of the season,” the world number 39 said.

“It’s the first Major of the season and really the start of the year for everyone.”

The early months of the season have been tough for Fitzpatrick as he looks to build on his successful conclusion to 2015 which saw him win the British Masters in October.

His best performance of the season prior to last weekend’s heroics was a tie for 16th at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, the first tournament of the campaign. Since then he has missed two cuts in five strokeplay events.

The Hallamshire Golf Club member will hope his Augusta performance will have him back in track as he looks to secure a Ryder Cup debut in late September.

His outing in Augusta was his second after appearing two years ago when ranked as the world’s top amateur.

While admitting his expectations were grossly different as he returned as a professional, he said the experience of his Masters debut was vital on his return.

He said: “I think when I came as an amateur, I didn’t have any expectations. Mainly it was to make the cut.

“This time I’ve managed to make the cut but I just think it’s different.

“I think every shot really does count.

“As an amateur when I played it didn’t really matter too much if I missed the cut. It was a great experience for me.

“I think I wouldn’t have done as well as I did this year without that. I think it helps to know the course well.”

Fitzpatrick is to remain in the US this weekend to take part in the RBC Heritage in South Carolina, starting on Thursday.

World number one Jason Day will also be in action at Hilton Head.