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Matt Fitzpatrick says he doesn’t bear any scars from being part of the defeated 2016 European Ryder Cup team due to the fact he ‘barely played’ on his debut.
The 23-year-old was one of six rookies in the team for the 17-11 defeat at Hazeltine but was called into action just once by captain Darren Clarke apart from the Sunday singles – partnering Henrik Stenson in a 3&2 Saturday morning foursomes defeat to Brooks Koepka and Brandt Snedeker.
And, asked in Dubai whether he, or any of his other 2016 debutants would be scarred by their experience, he replied: “For me, without being rude, I barely played. In the foursomes with Henrik [Stenson], we played great tee-to-green and then we just got severely unlucky.
“Then in the singles, I wasn’t playing my A-game and Zach Johnson holed the world. I don’t think I played enough to have made it make an impact on me personally – but I don’t know about the other guys. Obviously I’d love the chance to make the team and play again next year.”
Currently, the Englishman is in the automatic qualifying positions for next year’s match at Le Golf National after clinching his fourth European Tour title at the Omega European Masters in September.
And, if he does end up making a second consecutive appearance in the biennial match under the stewardship of Thomas Bjorn, he knows what he’d like to see from the captain.
“The big thing I did learn, obviously you can’t guarantee it, but I feel like I’ve got to play a fourball game,” he said. “I feel like you’ve got to play your own ball before you play on Sunday. Just so you have a feeling of what it’s like to hole out from 5-6ft for the halve or win, whatever it might be.
“I just think it gives you a bit more confidence playing the golf course. I played one foursomes game last year, and you’re hitting half the shots.
“So there’s never any momentum to your game and you turn up Sunday not really knowing what’s going on in a way. So you almost don’t know where you’re hitting it because you’ve never played the golf course other than in practice. We all know practice is nothing like the real thing. So that would be my big thing.”
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