Matt Fitzpatrick: Round One Flash Interview

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Pleased and disappointed at the same time. To get under par really was quite nice, and it would have been nice to just steady out the rest of the day. But it was a bit up and down, a couple of bogeys. I think I went back-to-back bogeys twice. So that was a bit annoying. But at the same time, to get under par around here when I thought the start of the week it would be the winning score is pleasing at the same time. So mixed emotions, I guess.

Q. What about 17?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: 17, the ball was sort of set up fairly nicely. Just pressed my club down a little bit and caught the grass along with it moving; it touched my club, as well. And yeah, that was a one-shot penalty. I replaced the ball and hoped for an up and down and I did.

Q. Do you think you've plotted it out well in terms of (inaudible)?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I think looking back it was the right decision. Everyone seems to tell me it was the right decision. And now I think it is the right thing to do for me at the time. And it was important to take my opportunities while they were there, really. I think it was the right move.

Q. Just talk us through where it was on the --
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I hit it just long of the green, and long on the left of the hole is dead, really. I was looking at the grass, and I was hoping it wasn't into grain, and it wasn't. It was downgrain, and that was pleasing. And then I rested my club down, and then it moved and touched my club and that was it, really. Me and Duncan both saw it move. And I looked at Duncan and I was, like, whoops, what do I do? And he said call the referee over. So I called him over just to confirm that I replace the ball rather than play it from where it finished.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I think so, yeah. I mean -- so for me we just played away from flags and tried to play for the fattest part of the green, fattest and flatest. And I ended up pulling it or pushing it, so it was kind of a positive plan in a way. It worked out quite well on some holes and not so well on others. But, yeah, I mean, just -- it's hard to get aggressive, certainly in the back nine, when it was firming up a bit, particularly when you go in with a 6-iron. It's difficult to hold it when it's quite firm, whereas this morning it was quite soft.

Q. How do you play without a hat?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Don't know. I couldn't answer that one. No, I'm not really sure. I played a few practice rounds this week with a hat because how hot it is, really, and how strong the sun is. Other than that, I guess it's just comfort.

Q. 19 years old, to be out there playing with the defending champion and out there with Phil, talk about the mindset going out. Obviously you went toe-to-toe and better with those guys. Talk about that experience.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: It was great. Both Justin and Phil were great. They were both positive with me and about me. If I hit a good shot, I heard them say, "Good shot." And it was nice to have that support from two fantastic players. Yeah, I mean, I'm not saying that I couldn't compete with them just yet, because I don't feel like I can. Obviously they're fully grown men. They've been on Tour for years, and they know what they're doing. I think it's sort of getting to that stage of just developing my game to try to be as good as theirs.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Fairly wide, not too much, to be fair. Yeah, no offense, the only thing that comes out most is that he just missed a lot of cuts in a row. I always remember the video that's played of him pitching it in, and that's probably the only two things I could put together, really.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: I sort of found out before the draw was made, which was quite nice. I think it's sort of a tradition that the U.S. Open has that the U.S. Amateur plays with the past champion. He's a great guy, and really supportive on the course. He was great with me.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No, I saw Mike at Augusta. We had a bit of a chat and he let me know there. Both Justin and his caddie, both were great.

Q. Did you have any nerves starting out today?
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: No, over a couple of shots maybe, and some putts. But, no, I don't think there's anything that sort of affected my performance, I just -- more that I just feel it there more than anything, really.

Q. (Inaudible.)
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Yeah, I did, yeah. My brother and my dad shouted quite a few times. I heard quite a few shouts from a couple other people. It's nice. With everyone supporting Phil, you feel kind of left out and everyone is against you. But at the same time, to hear the cheers like that is pretty special. And then I have sort of -- once I started playing pretty solid, I had quite a few people shouting my name, so that was quite nice, as well.

Q. Looked like you and Phil had some nice banter throughout the round.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK: Probably the only one was on the par-5, 5th, his ball rolled and hit my marker, and it was right in front of it. And he said -- he came over, and he said, "Is that all right there?" And, well, he was obviously joking, and I didn't think he was. I said, "I'm going to need that moved." And he said, "Don't worry, I'm only joking." And he said that probably saved him about two feet. I guess if they does win, I've contributed to it a little bit (laughter).

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