Like most parents of a prodigiously talented young sportsperson, Russell and Sue Fitzpatrick have sacrificed their time and no doubt plenty of their money to help eldest son Matthew fulfil his dreams of becoming a top-class golfer.
So it was perfectly apt that yesterday, along with younger son Alex, the couple were able to experience the jubilation at Woburn as Matthew secured his maiden European Tour crown with victory in the British Masters.
Fitzpatrick only joined the Tour this year, and last month celebrated his 21st birthday, but the Sheffield starlet’s first success pushed his earnings past the £1million mark.
Not bad for a player who took a little bit of time to get to grips with the professional game, having made a name for himself on the amateur circuit.
Fitzpatrick failed to make the cut in six of his first eight competitions, but gradually the former Tapton School pupil, who is a member of Hallamshire Golf Club at Lodge Moor, found his form and a second placed finish in the European Masters in Switzerland in July sparked some encouraging results, culminating in Sunday’s glory.
The youngest player taking part in the British Masters, Fitzpatrick finished with a 68 at Woburn to end up 15 under par, two shots ahead of Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti, Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen and Ireland’s Shane Lowry.
And with Sheffield well represented, cheering him on, Fitzpatrick admitted life just ‘does not get any better’.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s not going to sink in for a long time. A first professional win, British Masters, in England, with my family here; it does not get any better,” he said.
“Winning wire to wire is something most players dream of.
“Jordan Spieth did so when he won the Masters and for me to be in the same category as him is pretty special.”
Fitzpatrick now movesfrom 111th in the rankings to within sight of his goal of a place in the top 50 to secure a return to the Masters in April.
He is also up to 12th in the Race to Dubai and top of the early Ryder Cup qualifying standings
“If you’re in the top 50 it opens so many doors and my dad says it’s self-perpetuating,” Fitzpatrick added.
“The money is bigger, ranking points are bigger and your card is easier to keep.”