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Keeping it in the family

What a year 2023 turned out to be for the Fitzpatrick family, with big brother Matt a multiple winner, Alex bagging his first Challenge Tour victory, then Matt and mum Sue teaming up to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro Am. Matt also won the Dunhill professional tournament played around St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, winning by three on -19 from Kiwi Ryan Fox, Matthew Southgate and Howley Hall’s Marcus Armitage. Matt and 5-handicap Sue started well enough with a first round 63, but then produced a stunning 58 and 59 – the only pair to break 60 – to win by a resounding five strokes. Torrential rain reduced the event to 54 holes. Matt said: “It’s amazing. Winning is difficult. It was a kind of free-wheeling week, just playing with my mum and trying to enjoy it as best I can and see what happened. “Then I played really well at Carnoustie and just got on a hot run these last two rounds. It doesn’t get better than winning at St Andrews, it’s just a very special place. We’ve been coming here for a long, long time.” It was Fitzpatrick’s ninth DP World Tour victory and his first Alfred Dunhill Links success in his 7th appearance. Applause on the Old Course rang out as much for his plucky mum as for him. She was partnering him for the second successive year, and battling a knee injury. Sue said: “I’ve got a brace on my left knee and I really do need to get it sorted out, but the discomfort was worth it, just so I could play alongside Matt again. It’s been such a great week. It’s amazing they managed to get us out today but it’s been great. Another great week.” Matt added: “She got us off to a great back nine and she played great all day again. I just helped guide her around. One of my close friends, Josh, is on the bag, and he’s done great helping her out. We had a great week and really dovetailed well. I think last year we struggled on that front. Every time I made a birdie, mum would make a birdie, but she’s been brilliant this week. Even with all my wins, aside from a Major Championship, you forget about them, but you always remember the one that you won with your mum, so it doesn’t get better than that.” In addition, Alex was named DP World Player of the Month for August, with 80% of the votes.


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