ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Matt Fitzpatrick posed for photos with his mother as they crossed the Swilcan Bridge, then made birdie from 10 feet on the storied 18th hole at St. Andrews.
Talk about a perfect way to close out a first European tour title in two years.
Fitzpatrick shot 6-under 66 on the Old Course to win the weather-affected Dunhill Links Championship by three strokes on Monday. The 2022 U.S. Open champion was 19-under par overall for an event that was reduced to 54 holes after heavy rain wiped out play on Saturday and Sunday.
Play was only possible on Monday after remarkable efforts from the greenkeepers at the three storied Scottish courses hosting the pro-am event — St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns — to make them playable. Large parts of Carnoustie, in particular, were unrecognizable on Sunday and there were still huge swathes of water on some fairways.
Ryan Fox, a recent winner at the BMW PGA Championship, shot 65 on the Old Course and was tied for second place with Matthew Southgate (66 at St. Andrews) and Marcus Armitage (66 at Carnoustie).
Fitzpatrick, who won the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour in April, hadn’t won on the European tour since the Andalucia Masters in October 2021. This latest title comes a week after he was part of Europe’s Ryder Cup-winning team in Rome, where he claimed his first point in golf’s biggest show after five straight losses across away matches in 2016 and 2021.
He played with his mother, Susan, in the pro-am at the Dunhill Links — and they won, too.
“It’s funny really, it was kind of a freewheeling week — playing with mum and just trying to enjoy it the best I can and see what happened,” Fitzpatrick said.
The 29-year-old Englishman shot 67 at Carnoustie on Thursday and 64 at Kingsbarns on Friday.
“I couldn’t ask for a better week,” Fitzpatrick said. “Aside from the weather, it really was a perfect week.
“Even with all my wins, aside from a major, you forget about them in the future, and you’ll always remember the one that you won with your mum.”
A total of 39 players either withdrew or retired ahead of the third and final round.
After Fitzpatrick finished his round, only the No. 381-ranked Armitage could realistically threaten the lead and he made three birdies in a four-hole stretch to close within two shots with three holes left at Carnoustie.
However, Armitage finished par-bogey-par to fall back into a tie for second.
Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden made 10 birdies in a bogey-free 62 at Kingsbarns and was alone in fifth place on 15 under overall.