Days After Expressing Harsh Sentiments Against Slow Play, Matt Fitzpatrick Takes a Bold Yet Subtle Dig At Golf Legends

Published 04/21/2023, 3:03 PM EDT

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Matthew Fitzpatrick has been on a hot streak recently! Following his epic playoff win on the RBC Heritage last week, this week too he has no intention of slowing down, and on Thursday he dominated the first round of the team-play Tour event. But along with his gameplay, it seems like FitzPatrick has been on a roll with his words too. Just last week, he uttered some harsh words against slow play on the tour. And now once more, he may have taken a dig—a subtle one—about his Ryder Cup past!

Matthew Fitzpatrick dishes out an elusive dig

The Zurich Classic is the only team-based event on the PGA Tour’s schedule. The tournament follows a fourball format in the first and third rounds and foursomes in the second and fourth. Fourball sees both players in the team play their own ball and the lower score of either count per hole. In foursomes, on the other hand, the team plays the same ball with alternate shots until it’s holed.


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The format of the course is not seen at any other Tour event and is hence quite new to Fitzpatrick. But not by lack of an option, because the Ryder Cup too has players compete in a fourball. And perhaps that was on the one-time major winner’s mind after dominating the first round of fourball alongside his brother, Alex Fitzpatrick, and tying for third.

Following the round of interviews on Thursday, Fitzpatrick had lots to say. “It’s just so different,” he said. “We don’t do this, obviously—well, we’ve never done this.” Then came the possible dig, ever so subtle. “I think it’s nice to play a bit of team golf,” he added. “I’m obviously not used to playing four-balls.” And he wasn’t “used to” playing the format because he was never given a chance to in the Ryder Cup!

One of the games at the international event is fourball. And in those two instances (2016 and 2021), he wasn’t given a chance in that particular format!

Fitzpatrick’s hot streak with words continues


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Last week, the golf pro bluntly lashed out at all those playing slowly during the rounds on Tour. “It’s truly appalling,” he said, as per Sky Sports Golf, talking about golfers taking five hours to play a round. “It’s a disgrace.”

USA Today via Reuters

While that outright dig was aimed at Patrick Cantlay, who’s one of the slowest golfers on the Tour, his most recent was certainly for his former Ryder Cup teammates, Darren Clarke (2016) and Padraig Harrington (2021), who served as captains during those years.


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Unlike the slow play that still remains unchanged, Fitzpatrick certainly will hope that his subtle jab and his remarkable play will win him a spot at a fourball in the Ryder Cup this year! But only time will tell if that will come to pass.



Written by:

Sheldon Pereira


One take at a time

Sheldon is the lead golf writer at EssentiallySports. His comprehensive coverage of the Masters Tournament and the prestigious Champions Dinner has quickly gained him a following of thousands of avid golf fans. For Sheldon, Phil Mickelson's incredible performance at the 2023 Masters was one of the most inspiring moments he has witnessed in the sport.
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Edited by:

Manaal Siddiqui