Matt Fitzpatrick admits winning his first European Tour title came much earlier than expected as he prepares to defend the British Masters this week.
The Sheffield golfer triumphed in the British Masters a year ago at Woburn, helping to mark his first full year on the European Tour in style.
Fitzpatrick is at The Grove in Hertforshire this week to defend his title.
“It sort of came a lot quick than I anticipated,” the 22-year-old said.
“I remember speaking to Chubby [Chandler, manager] after I had won and we were both saying it wasn’t really on our radar to win.
“It just happened and it was a nice one to just tick off a goal straight away.
“It was a special week.”
Fitzpatrick made his Ryder Cup debut a fortnight ago in Europe’s losing effort against the United States.
His achievement provided a marker of how far he has come in a short space of time since winning his place on the Tour and winning his first event.
Another title has followed – the Nordea Masters in June – as well as seventh place in The Masters in April.
He said: “It’s gone so fast and since winning a lot has changed. There’s lot of doors opened.
“I managed to squeeze into the top 50 at the end of the year and had a good end of season after winning the British Masters last year as well as three top tens.
“I played great most of last year and I’ve played ok this year.
“A lot has happened so fast. It’s almost a bit difficult to comprehend really.”
Teeing off at 8.10am on Thurday, Fitzpatrick will play alongside Worksop’s Lee Westwood and Tyrrell Hatton, who won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last weekend.
Danny Willett is out at 12.35pm.