Great finish to the season for Yorkshire star Fitzpatrick ends a year to remember
Matthew Fitzpatrick’s remarkable rise continues as the 22-year-old Yorkshireman claimed his third European Tour title on a dramatic final day of the 2016 season at the DP World Championship in Dubai.
Fitzpatrick took advantage of Tyrrell Hatton’s bogey on the 18th hole with a closing birdie to swap positions at the top of the leaderboard – his final round 67 sealing a one-shot victory.
Fitzpatrick claimed his maiden European Tour title 13 months ago at the British Masters supported by Sky Sports – since then he has won the Nordea Masters and featured in his first Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National.
His victory at Jumeirah Golf Estates means he is the youngest Englishman to win three European Tour titles – beating Nick Faldo’s previous record from 1980 by a margin of 220 days.
The win also earned Fitzpatrick the biggest pay day of his fledgling career – a cheque for €1,217,174 – and moved him into sixth position on the final 2016 Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, a spot securing him a further €319,509 as part of the top 10 bonus pool.
“I love playing golf obviously,” said Fitzpatrick, “but it’s been a long year for me and I’ve got to admit this is just icing on the cake. As a year goes, it’s been a great one.
“I had a rough idea [what happened to Tyrrell] on the last. I saw that he had missed a putt and there were a few groans in the crowd. But it wasn’t until I saw the scores and that I knew what I needed for the win.
“Tyrrell, he’s a great lad, he was just coming down and I saw him as I was walking into the scorer and he said congratulations. For someone to do that after he’s been in contention is very special. He’s a credit to the tour.
“This win means the world. To win one of these Final Series events is really special, and this one in particular, being the last tournament of the year is special.
“Words can’t describe it. It’s not going to sink in for a while. It’s been a special year and then to end it like this with a win is amazing.”