Matt Fitzpatrick wins delayed Dunhill Links Championship

by Joanne Miller

Title: Matt Fitzpatrick Triumphs at the Weather-Affected Dunhill Links Championship

Date: Oct 9, 2023
Author: Associated Press

Matt Fitzpatrick, the 2022 U.S. Open champion, proved his mettle yet again by clinching his first European tour title in two years. Fitzpatrick emerged victorious at the Dunhill Links Championship, prevailing by a comfortable three-stroke margin.

The tournament was marred by adverse weather conditions, with heavy rain forcing the event to be reduced to 54 holes. Despite the challenges, Fitzpatrick’s remarkable performance on the Old Course at St. Andrews propelled him to an impressive 19-under-par finish.

Monday’s play would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of the greenkeepers at St. Andrews, Carnoustie, and Kingsbarns. These dedicated individuals worked tirelessly to ensure the courses were playable, considering the considerable damage caused by the inclement weather.

Carnoustie, in particular, suffered significant damage, rendering certain areas unrecognizable. Large swaths of water on some fairways were also visible, testament to the relentless rain that had impacted play.

Ryan Fox, the recent winner at the BMW PGA Championship, matched Fitzpatrick’s level of play by shooting an excellent 65 on the Old Course. He finished tied for second place alongside Matthew Southgate, who shot 66 at St. Andrews, and Marcus Armitage, who carded 66 at Carnoustie.

For Fitzpatrick, the victory at the Dunhill Links Championship marked his first win on the European tour since the Andalucia Masters in October 2021. His successful title defense at his home course comes just a week after he played a vital role in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory.

Fitzpatrick was part of the European team that emerged triumphant outside Rome, where he secured his first point in the prestigious event after five consecutive losses across away matches in 2016 and 2021. The Dunhill Links Championship win serves to further solidify his reputation as one of Europe’s top golfers.

In a heartwarming twist, Fitzpatrick competed alongside his mother, Susan, in the pro-am event at the Dunhill Links Championship. Remarkably, they clinched the victory in that portion of the tournament as well.

Reflecting on his memorable week, Fitzpatrick commented, “It’s funny, really; it was kind of a freewheeling week — playing with Mum and just trying to enjoy it the best I can and see what happened.” The 29-year-old Englishman went on to make an exquisite birdie putt from 10 feet, his triumph on the Swilcan Bridge captured in pictures for posterity.

Fitzpatrick’s stellar performance throughout the tournament included a solid 67 at Carnoustie on Thursday and an outstanding 64 at Kingsbarns on Friday. His resilience and skill were evident as he overcame the challenges brought on by the inclement weather and fierce competition.

Despite a significant number of withdrawals and retirements ahead of the final round, Fitzpatrick stood tall and delivered a commanding performance that earned him a well-deserved victory at the Dunhill Links Championship.

With this win, Matt Fitzpatrick has further cemented his position as one of golf’s rising stars, showcasing his remarkable talent and determination to succeed on the European tour and beyond.

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