Fitzpatrick success down to learning to be patient

By Sports Desk April 17, 2023

Matt Fitzpatrick believes learning to be patient has been his secret to success.

The reigning U.S. Open champion went into the final round of the RBC Heritage on Sunday with the outright lead after a spectacular career-best round of 63 on Saturday, but had to survive a three-hole playoff against Jordan Spieth before securing victory.

Fitzpatrick fell two shots off the lead at one point, before recovering to force a playoff against Spieth.

"The big thing for me, that I feel like I've learnt when I play well, is just having patience. Just letting it happen and just giving myself time," Fitzpatrick said.

"I just felt as long as I was within two shots going into the back nine, I was easily in with a shout."

The Englishman moved up to a career-high number eight in the world after his win at the Harbour Town course at Hilton Head, just his second PGA Tour win after the U.S. Open.

"Before winning the U.S. Open, before last year really, I probably got overworked over majors," he said. "I was that desperate to try and win one, just changing things, trying a bit harder.

"I probably made myself tired from that, and then you come to this week and you just feel tired from the week before.

"I think sometimes it can be tough, particularly if you really had a grind, if you had a good result. I think it can be difficult to get yourself up for it."

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    With another staging of the Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival now done and dusted, Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation and Jonathan Newnham are content to bask in the success of their hard work, having once again set the bar high.

    The event, hosted at the Sandals Golf and Country Club in Upton, not only combined the love of golf with Jamaica’s renowned culinary tradition, but also reinforced the power of sports and culture to bring people together for a common cause, as it also raised funds for the St Ann's hospital urology department, as well as Sandals Foundation’s Care for Kids programme. 

    Cavani James, 12, and his teammate Tajay Lobban, 21, were crowned overall champions of the golf tournament, which was split into three sections to add value for the over 80 participants that journeyed from near and far to contribute to the event’s success.

    Elon Parkinson, Digicel’s Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs, and Karen Zacca, Operations Director at the Sandals Foundation, share a photo opportunity with (from left) Jerome Thomas, Cavani James and Tyree Smith.

    For Clarke, the event was another testament of the foundation’s years of hard work and dedication to education, healthcare, and community development.

    “We haven’t calculated all that came in as yet, but I think that we did great. This is the fourth year that we've been doing this tournament, all with a focus on how we're doing capacity building for hospitals in this region,” Clarke said.

    “So last year, we focused on Port Maria hospital and their security system, and a year before that, it was the St Ann's Bay physio department, this year, the urology department. So we've really been able to do a lot, and I am very proud of the team and all the golfers that came out. We are very grateful to them all for the support,” she added.

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    Beyond golf, the Care for Kids programme, which engages kids between the ages of seven and 18 years old, through weekly mentorship training programme, also imparts life skills that Clarke says prepares them to navigate whatever challenges lay ahead.

    For the Jerk competition, members from Sandals Dunn’s River Resort, Sandals Royal Plantation, Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and the Country Club match skills with unique chicken, shrimp and fish recipes. In an effort to continue its youth engagement commitment, all jerk teams also comprised students of the St Ann’s Chapter of the HEART/ NSTA Trust’s hospitality school.

    “I think it was a fantastic success. Another big aspect of it is the jerk competition. So this year, for the jerk competition, we had the chefs out on the course, so golfers could sample jerk when they were out there. We had some HEART/ NSTA students join them for the competition, so they were mentored from the day before with all the preparations and then during the day of the event,” Clarke shared.

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    “They all really had a fantastic time. So for us, it's always about how we work with our young people, whether they're playing golf or whether they want to learn about the hospitality industry, and how we're working to build our healthcare, and making our communities stronger. So I think, overall, it was a resounding success,” she noted.

    Newnham, director of operations at the golf club, also stressed that the festival is more than just golf, as he too pointed to the lasting positive impact it has on local communities.

    “It was just a very first class event and the feedback from the golfers was fantastic. It was fitting that our overall champion was actually a team of Cavani James, who won our junior qualifier a month and a half ago, and Tajay Lobban, a former, a former member of our junior golf programme. So that is very rewarding for us as a programme to showcase the talents that we nurtured,” Newnham reasoned.

    “It's a testament to the work that not only we do, but also as a Jamaican golf and junior community as a whole. So very proud that all the hard work that went into it was well awarded and it was essentially a celebration of sport and all it does for us and the surrounding communities, as the proceeds are for a cause,” he ended.

     

     

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    Teams will start arriving in Jamaica on July 1 with the competition set to take place from July 3-5 with the first tee time set at 7:00 AM local time.

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    The official media launch for the junior golf showcase was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Thursday.

    “The hosting of this prestigious event represents not only a celebration of golf, but it also fulfils our mandate by providing a platform for our junior golfers to hone their skills in addition to being a testament to the spirit of sportsmanship, camaraderie and youthful exuberance that thrives in our Caribbean region,” said President of the Jamaica Golf Association, Jodi Munn-Barrow, at Thursday’s launch.

    Lead sponsors of the July 3-5 championships are BCIC Insurance Company Limited and their CEO, Peter Levy, expressed happiness to be a part of this competition.

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    “BCIC has always believed in the power of sport to shape our society and we see this partnership as an investment in the dreams and aspirations of young golfers across the Caribbean,” he added.

    Also on hand to give a glimpse of what to expect from the course itself was Caymanas Golf Club General Manager, Peter Lindo.

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    “It’s a true honour to be elected as president of the Jamaica Golf Association. I look forward to working with the members of the new executive committee. The first matter of importance that we will be looking at is the hosting of the Caribbean Amateur Junior Championships in July and then we continue to focus on our Jamaica Open but grateful to have a good committee and grateful to lead this august body” said a delighted Munn-Barrow.

    She was nominated by the immediate past president Peter Chin, who is an avid golfer and chairs the Jamaica Open Golf Championship committee.

    Vice president Dr. Mark Newnham returned unopposed as well after being nominated by Robert Chin.

    The other elected members of the committee are William Brown –Treasurer, Fred Sutherland – Honourary Secretary, Alison Reid – Junior Golf Chairperson, Rowena Coe – Ladie’s Representative, along with committee members Dave Lyn, Vikram Dhiman, Robert Chin, Teddy Alexander and Dave Cameron.

    Alexander and Cameron will be serving on the JGA executive for the first time. Cameron, the former president of the West Indies Cricket Board can be seen on the golf course from time to time.

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