Ryder Cup is main aim for Sheffield's Matt Fitzpatrick
Matt Fitzpatrick is targeting a second Ryder Cup appearance in Paris next year and already has clear ideas of how to ensure the result will be entirely different.
Fitzpatrick, who will defend his DP World Tour Championship title in Dubai this week, was part of the team beaten 17-11 at Hazeltine in 2016, Europe’s first defeat since 2008.
The 23-year-old was one of six rookies in Darren Clarke’s side and did not win a point from his two matches, losing in the Saturday foursomes alongside Open champion Henrik Stenson and against two-time major winner Zach Johnson in the singles.
And the world number 31 feels he will need to play more at Le Golf National in 2018 to be able to contribute to Europe’s bid to regain the trophy.
“My goal is to make the team - that’s my main aim of the year” Fitzpatrick said. “Within that I’ll be playing a little bit in the States as well and if I happen to pick up enough points for a PGA Tour card, I’ll probably take it up the year after. But mainly just focus on Europe, play well here.
“The new Rolex Series, is exciting. That’s the good thing about playing in Europe now, you’ve got these big events that carry big world ranking points.”
Speaking about Hazeltine, Fitzpatrick added: “The big thing I did learn was that I’ve got to play a fourball game. I feel like you’ve got to play your own ball before you play on Sunday so you have a feeling of what it’s like to hole out from five, six foot for the half or for the win, whatever it might be. It gives you a bit more confidence playing the course. I played one foursomes game last year and you’re hitting half the shots, not even that - it didn’t really feel like you’re hitting any shots at all.
“So there’s never any momentum to your game and you turn up Sunday and you almost don’t really know what’s going on in a way. You almost don’t know where you’re hitting it because you’ve never played the golf course other than in practise. We all know practise is nothing like the real thing.”