Young Matthew Fitzpatrick looks the real deal. It was a fantastic win for him at the Nordea Masters in Stockholm on Sunday and his victory is a huge step towards achieving a major goal of his and that’s a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
His three-shot success over Denmark’s Lasse Jensen scooped him the first prize of 250,000 euros and also saw the Sheffield-born 21-year-old reclaim third place in the qualifying race for Hazeltine in September.
It was his second triumph on the European Tour, having won the 2015 British Masters with a two-shot victory at Woburn while also posting 10 top-10 finishes during his rookie year.
I don’t know too much about him, except he could be former England cricket captain Michael Atherton’s son – he’s his doppelganger. But in all seriousness, he showed a lot of class on Sunday and looks to have a great game.
Fitzpatrick, who tied for seventh in this year’s Masters which was won by fellow Yorkshireman Danny Willett, looks very calm and collected and that’s the ideal temperament for the Ryder Cup.
But as I wrote last week about Chris Wood following his PGA Championship win at Wentworth, the Ryder Cup is a unique setting and until you get there you just don’t know how a player is going to respond under such pressures.
It was also pleasing to see Sweden’s Henrik Stenson finish strongly – his final round score of 66 was the lowest of the day – and find a bit of form. In Ryder Cup year it’s important that guys like Henrik are in form.
Finally, for what he has given while wearing the blue and gold of Europe over the years, it’s a shame that Ian Poulter won’t be at the Ryder Cup as a player this time around due to a long-term foot injury. He will, however, be at Hazeltine as one of Darren Clarke’s vice-captains following yesterday’s announcement.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam