Fitz sets speed record
Sheffield’s Matthew Fitzpatrick is a record breaker after helping an England team play the fastest hole of golf by four players.
The English quartet of Hallamshire member Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter and Matthew Southgate completed the par-five 15th at Regnum Carya Golf Resort and Spa in Antalya in 32.70 seconds to set a new Guinness World Record time.
That was just 0.26secs quicker than the South African team of Brandon Stone, Haydn Porteous, Dylan Frittelli and George Coetzee, but took 2.17s off the previous best set by France at Valderrama last year.
England's reward is a place in the record books and a certificate for each member of the team, although Southgate’s team members then tried to pull a fast one on him when they told him they had also won £50,000 each.
"It was Terry's idea," Fitzpatrick explained, Terry Mundy being Poulter's caddie. "Everyone was dying laughing.
"The first thing Matt said was, 'Does it go on the Order of Merit?' Apparently he went up to a European Tour official and asked when do we get the 50 grand?"
Southgate insisted it did not take him long to work out the truth, but added: "I had a little bite but it was more like a surprise, 'Wow I didn't know about that', rather than, 'Great, I'm going to buy myself a new car'.
"He was lucky. I'd have given the bill to Mr Poulter if I'd gone and bought myself an Audi or something!"
The French set the world record when their four-man relay team completed a 500-yard hole - the minimum length hole for a world record attempt - in 34.87 seconds in Spain last year.
While France failed to push their two opponents this time around, it was clear that both England and South Africa had gone close in the attempt which was staged under floodlights.
Following an anxious wait, it was announced that England were the team that had broken the record with a time of 32.7 seconds beating South Africa’s 32.9 seconds. After Hatton hit the tee shot, Fitzpatrick played the approach shot, Poulter hit it close and Southgate tapped in to set the new world record.
Fitzpatrick added: “It was a lot of fun taking part in the attempt but to actually come away with a world record and have our names in the history books is something to be proud of. It’s a great thing for the Turkish Airlines Open and hopefully we can keep the record for a long time.”