Danny Willett thinks the key to success for fellow Sheffield golfer Matt Fitzpatrick was all about belief.
The 21-year-old made just two cuts in his first eight tournaments of the season, his first full campaign as a professional. But his fortunes improved, culminating in victory at the British Masters last weekend.
Now he sits on the fringes of the European top ten, 59th in the world rankings and heads the early standings for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Fellow Steel City player Willett – the current European number two – believes the turnaround was all about Fitzpatrick learning he is good enough to compete.
“I think he’s just kind of found his feet a bit more,” Willett told the Star, prior to the British Masters.
“It’s tricky. He started the season really slowly but he’s had three months now that have been kind of where he sees himself.
“He’s a good player. I think he just needed to believe in himself a bit, get out there and compete with the lads and realise what he’s got is good enough to do it.
“That’s what he’s done. The end of the year could be interesting for him to see how he kicks on and where his career over the next few years takes him.”
Willett and Fitzpatrick went head-to-head in the European Masters in Cronz earlier this year with the former emerging victorious in a Sheffield one-two at the tournament.
Willett said: “Cronz was good. Matt played well and didn’t really let up.
“He was hot on the heels all the way and didn’t give us too much breathing room.”