Flying start for Fitzpatrick at PGA Championship

Matt Fitzpatrick
Matt Fitzpatrick
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It was a case of practice makes perfect for Matt Fitzpatrick as his short game helped him make made a superb start to the BMW PGA Championship.

The Sheffield golfer was one of the day’s early pacesetters after an excellent round at Wentworth, carding a five under par 67 on day one.

He posted birdies on three of the first four holes in an excellent start and added three more on the back nine, with a bogey five on 15 the only blemish on his card.

And he hailed work on his short game for helping him find the deft touch at Wentworth.

“It’s something I’ve been doing a fair bit of, practicing and trying to get better,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s such an important part of the game, on par fives or chipping out of trouble. It was nice to see it pay off.”

His short game certainly helped on the last as he scrambled par after finding the water with his second shot.

“It was disappointing to hit it in the water,” the 23-year-old said.

“I caught it a bit heavy and it was one bounce into the water.

“It was good to get the save on the last.”

“It’s always nice to get off to a good start,” he added.

“I hit a four iron into the first, a five iron into the third and I had to make a good up and down on the fourth.

“To start off with three birdies in the first four was really pleasing.”

Danny Willett’s steady start was halted with a double bogey six on the eighth – and it got much worse from there.

The Hackenthorpe-born former Masters champion made birdies on one and seven but slipped down the leaderboard after a disaster on eight and made another bogey on the par three tenth.

Two more bogies would follow for Willett before he pulled a shot back with a birdie on the par three 14th. But he carded another double bogey on the 15th.

A birdie on the last saw him finish with a three over par 75.