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Matt Fitzpatrick was not exuding the belief of a Champion Golfer-elect ahead of his bid to win the Open at Royal Liverpool.

“I think for me, a good finish would be top 30 this week, I really do,” Fitzpatrick conceded in his press conference at Hoylake. 

It will be a special week regardless of the outcome for the Yorkshireman, who will play in the same field as his younger brother after Alex Fitzpatrick secured his place in Final Qualifying at West Lancashire.

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The former US Open winner is relishing a family affair at Hoylake as the Fitzpatricks become the first English brothers to play in the same Open in over 50 years.

But the 28-year-old is far from optimistic about his own chances of winning his second major this week.

Fitzpatrick’s best finish in this championship is a tie for 20th at Royal Portrush in 2019 and he seems content with matching that feat on the challenging Wirral links.

“I’ve got to be realistic about where I am, where my game is,” he said. “It’s not obviously where I would like it to be.

“I think everyone would be like to be playing golf like Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler right now, but that’s pretty rare for the rest of us. I’ve not played well in Opens, and I wouldn’t say I’m in the best form, either.”

Fitzpatrick missed the cut last week at the Genesis Scottish Open and has struggled to find his strongest game on the links layouts that he grew up playing so frequently as an amateur.

“If I had to play one last round in the world, I wouldn’t choose a links golf course,” he added.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love playing great links golf courses. I love playing Muirfield and Turnberry and this place is fantastic as well.

“There’s loads of great places. It’s just for me it doesn’t necessarily suit my eye.”

Fitzpatrick’s eyes did light up when fielding questions about Alex, who he has advised to stay out of the media spotlight during his major championship debut this week.

“I’ve almost wanted to give Francesco and Edoardo [Molinari] a call and ask them what it’s like he said, discussing the sibling dynamic in elite competition.

“People ask, what would you do if you were in the final group on Sunday, and I said, well, that would be kind of my worst nightmare, to be honest.

“It’s an exciting week, and I’m just so pleased for him. I think it’s great, gives him a good boost of confidence qualifying, and there’s no reason why he can’t do well this week.”

Fitzpatrick is four years older than Alex and his guiding him through his entire Open preparations, but could not miss out on a quick brotherly dig before the end of his media duties.

When asked about sharing a house together again he said: “It’s fine. Fortunately my parents are there to take care of him.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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