'You don't see Tiger Woods going easy on himself' - Matt Fitzpatrick struggles to take positives after missing out on WGC HSBC Champions title
Matt Fitzpatrick refused to take any consolation from a strong performance at the WGC HSBC Champions after missing out on winning the tournament.
The Sheffield golfer led after day two of the event in Shanghai and was only two shots off leader - and eventual winner – Rory McIlroy heading into the final round.
That margin was cut on the second hole when Fitzpatrick carded an eagle three but he failed to make it count and was left to rue missed opportunities as he finished five shots behind McIlroy on -14.
And he says he cannot be anything but harsh on himself after letting chances slip.
“I’m always tough on myself – everyone tells me that,” he said.
“But I don’t see Tiger Woods or any of the boys at the top going easy on themselves.
“It’s what makes me tick I guess. I just want to get better all the time.”
On the eagle on the second, he added: “It’s just the start I wanted and I gave myself a chance at the next and missed that.
“It was a straightforward iron on the next and I missed a short putt.
“You can’t do that. Simple things like that have probably this year just held me back a little bit – just not making those easy shots easy.
“It’s a good week overall, but yeah, I’m definitely a little bit disappointed.”
The 25-year-old bogeyed the fifth and failed to make any inroads until a birdie on 11.
Back-to-back bogeys on 14 and 15 halted any hope of making a late surge, though he did manage another birdie on 16 to finish one under par for the day.
Fellow Sheffield golfer Danny Willett endured a difficult weekend which saw him drop out of the top ten in the Race to Dubai standings.
Willett finished on +11 after rounds of 77, 78 and 76 over the final three days of the tournament.
McIlroy edged out Xander Schauffele in a play-off to win the event.
The world number two won at the first extra hole at the Sheshan International Golf Club after the pair both finished on 19 under.
Schauffele, the defending champion, had birdied the 18th to take the event into a play-off but he could only score par as the pair played it again in sudden death.
McIlroy, who had to lay up after flirting with water on his first playing of the 18th, duly sank a birdie putt to claim his 27th career title.
It was also McIlroy's third win in a World Golf Championships event, his fourth win of 2019 and the first in his defence of the FedEX Cup title. It lifted him to the top of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings and fifth in the European Tour's Race to Dubai rankings.