2022 US Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick is setting the pace at the European Masters, with a two-shot lead as he eyes a spot on the Ryder Cup team.
The Brit showcased his skill at the Crans-sur-Sierre course in Switzerland, finishing his third round with a 67 to climb to an impressive 15-under par.
His third-round performance was a bit of a rollercoaster, featuring a medley of seven birdies, a pair of bogeys, and one double bogey. Yet, he managed to stay in the groove, as he put it, “I’m stoked to stay in the game for the Sunday showdown. Things could’ve really gone haywire.”
At 29 years old, Fitzpatrick is poised to slide into one of the two remaining automatic Ryder Cup qualifying slots, taking over from Tommy Fleetwood who’s sitting this tournament out. A finish of sixth place or better in Switzerland would do the trick for him. He could even snag a joint seventh-place finish, provided he ties with just one other player.
But it’s not just Ryder Cup qualifications on the line for Fitzpatrick. A win here would allow him to tie the legendary Seve Ballesteros for the most victories at this tournament. “There’s so much at stake for me this week,” Fitzpatrick commented. “I could secure my Ryder Cup spot, match Seve’s record, and clinch my third win here. And, let’s be honest, third time’s a charm!”
Hot on Fitzpatrick’s trail are Swedes Ludvig Aberg, who carded a 66, and Alexander Bjork, who finished with a 68. Scotland’s Connor Syme also joins the chase pack with a 13-under par.
Adding a bit of family drama to the mix, Alex Fitzpatrick, Matt’s sibling, is also in the hunt. He’s sitting at 12-under par after scoring a 68 in his third round.
So, as we gear up for the final round, it’s clear that Fitzpatrick has more than just a trophy to play for. The stakes are high, the competition fierce, and the Ryder Cup spot tantalizingly within reach. Tune in to see if he can pull off a hat trick of wins and etch his name next to one of golf’s greats.