European Tour

Fitzpatrick set for European Masters title tilt

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Getty Images)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Matthew Fitzpatrick is keen to maintain his outstanding record at Crans-sur-Sierre this week as he looks to defend his title in style at the European Masters.

The 24-year-old beat Scott Hend in a play-off 12 months ago to land his fourth European Tour title but will defend his crown having not been back in the winner's circle since.

"It's a place I wanted to win round for a while, as soon as I got here back in 2014, so to do it last year was really special. It is pretty rare that you get to win and have your family here, and your best pal here as well, so to have that was amazing," said Fitzpatrick.

"I feel like I have been playing solidly all year really, I've just not had any momentum or anything go my way, and not making the important putts unfortunately. Hopefully I can do that this week and kick on for the rest of the year and pick up a win.

"I love this golf course, I've played really well around it the last three years, and hopefully like you say continue my form and you never know. I've had some great rounds and just need to keep doing what I've been doing when I play here and take the chances when you get them," he said.

Top-ten finishes in Abu Dhabi, Wentworth and Denmark mean it has still been a productive season for the Englishman, and having finished second and seventh here before last year's triumph, Fitzpatrick is targeting another good week in Switzerland as he aims to become the first back-to-back winner since Seve Ballesteros in 1978.

"It's great to be in contention. I wouldn't say I have high expectations of getting the pick, but I did as best as I could last week and I felt like I left a tonne of shots out there, so to lose by three was disappointing given the fact that I did feel like I could have got so much more out of a couple of my rounds. We'll just have to see, whatever happens will happen," said Fitzpatrick.

Another Englishman with his sights on victory is Matt Wallace, who comes into the tournament full of confidence having picked up a third win of the season with his play-off victory at last week's Made in Denmark.

The 28-year-old's triumph was his tenth on the professional scene in the last two years, but Wallace has no plans to rest on his laurels.

He birdied five of his last six holes in a final round of 67 to get to 19 under alongside fellow Englishmen Steven Brown, Jonathan Thomson and Lee Westwood before gains on both extra trips up the last handed him a fourth European Tour win at Silkeborg Ry Golf Club.

They are are joined in the field by former champions of the event including 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, former world No 1 Westwood and Scot Richie Ramsay.

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