When Thomas Bjorn rounded up the usual suspects with his Ryder Cup captain’s picks last week, he basically went for experience and thumbed his nose at youth.
One of the young players he passed up was England’s Matt Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick didn’t mope about it. All he did was go out and win the European Masters Sunday in Switzerland at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club where he was defending champion.
In the process, Fitzpatrick won for the fifth time on the European Tour and became the youngest Brit to get five wins on that tour.
Wasn’t easy for the 24-year-old.
First, he had to birdie the 72nd hole to get to 17-under par and tie Lucas Bierregaard, who posted a dazzling 63 in the final round to take the clubhouse lead.
Fitz birdied for 67 then on the second trip down the picturesque par four, sank a 12-footer for a second straight birdie to win the playoff.
“This is what I wanted to achieve this season – another win,” he said. “To get it here again is so special and to get my fifth is amazing. I love this place.
“Of all my wins I’d say that was definitely the most difficult. I didn’t have my A game today, despite loving this place I just didn’t play my best today. I managed to grind it out, made some crucial birdies coming in and I’m delighted. This is one of my best.”
While Fitz was at the top of the heap, American John Daly was near the bottom.
Daly’s European vacation hasn’t been going well. After rounds of 77-75, a hefty 12-over par, Daly missed the cut, tied for 149th and was sent packing.
American Chase Koepka did make the cut, tied for 35th after shooting three-under.