U.S. Open: Fitzpatrick credits first major to Sheffield and 'underdog mentality'

By Sports Desk June 20, 2022

Matt Fitzpatrick credited his U.S. Open triumph to his Sheffield upbringing, which he believes helped to prepare him for the tournament.

The 27-year-old won a first career major after finishing six under par with a composed performance at The Country Club in Brookline, having entered the tournament considered an outsider to clinch victory.

Fitzpatrick likened his sitting prior to the start of play to his football team, Sheffield United, and described his approach as being reflective of his hometown.

"Sheffield, where I grew up playing golf, Hallamshire. Windy, tough, tight, really small greens. All jokes aside, it's actually similar to here. Just doesn't have the length. But always really windy," he said.

"When growing up, it was kind of the same wispy, high rough as well, so you had to learn to control your ball flight and chip well because you just weren't going to hit that many greens.

"It's a steel town, but I love Sheffield. It's great. It's where I'm from. It's where my football team's from. Yeah, it's where all my best pals are from, so yeah.

"I think, not to like compare it to my football team, but I feel like I'm the same deal. Not expected to do well, not expected to succeed. I've won a major today.

"I feel like I certainly work hard for it, and that's kind of where I've grown up from is that's the mentality of everyone around there. It's kind of you're told it's not upper class at all. 

"It's kind of, I can't think of the words. I've been out of the country too long. Yeah, it's certainly like underdog mentality, and you work for what you get."

Fitzpatrick also spoke about the influence of his parents in moulding him to become a humble person, though that doesn't limit his competitive edge.

"They did such an amazing job with me. That was the thing, they always taught me to be humble and to be down to earth, and if they're not bringing me back down to earth, my friends are. That will always be me," he added.

"It doesn't matter what we're doing, how well we're playing, I'll leave here tonight, and they'll give me abuse about something, I know they will. My friend is just nodding back there.

"I don't know, I've always felt like I had it. I've always been competitive, and that comes from my dad as well. My dad was always competitive with us as juniors. I just love winning. I absolutely love winning. I don't care who it is, but I just want to beat everyone.

"Although it doesn't come across -- like I don't show it much because I like to be quite reserved. Yeah, I just love beating everyone. It's as simple as that. Anyone else on tour would say the same thing. That's why the guys are the best, and that's why they play so well. Just love winning."

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