HOYLAKE, England — Matt Fitzpatrick hoped his youthful brother, Alex, would end the third spherical of the 151st Open Championship underneath 2, so they’d have the prospect to play the ultimate 18 holes collectively at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership on Sunday.
Matt will not be so fortunate after his little brother upstages him.
Alex, making his first main championship begin, posted a 6-under 65 on Saturday to maneuver up the standings to 4-under after 54 holes. Alex had seven birdies, together with three within the final 4 holes, with only one bogey.
“Yeah, tremendous particular spherical,” mentioned Alex. “I do not find out about this setting and the variety of individuals right here, however me and my caddy had a good time there and issues went in accordance with plan, which was tremendous cool. Yeah, just a bit misplaced for phrases, actually.”
The brothers, who grew up in Sheffield, England, competed within the PGA Tour staff occasion collectively this season, ending tied for nineteenth on the Zurich Traditional in New Orleans in April.
Open home week!! 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/P2YGQmHNbQ
—Matt Fitzpatrick (@MattFitz94) July 18, 2023
Alex, who performed 4 years of faculty golf at Wake Forest, certified for his first Open Championship by ending tied for fourth in a West Lancashire Ultimate Qualifying Match in Liverpool, England.
Now ranked 561st on the planet, Alex has been ranked fourth within the World Newbie Rankings and has competed on two Walker Cup groups, the primary at Royal Liverpool in 2019. Alex turned skilled final yr and has primarily competed on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour Canada.
Matt, the 2022 US Open champion and No. 9 participant on the planet, mentioned he urged his mother and father to go watch Alex play on Saturday.
“I advised them to give attention to him,” Matt mentioned. “It is extra necessary. It is my, what, ninth (Open Championship)? So that they’ve seen all 9 of these. It is his first, so it is extra necessary.”
It was additionally one of many Open’s greatest performances for Matt, who’s 2 underneath after 54 holes after capturing a 4 underneath 67 on Saturday. His career-best end within the occasion is a tie for twentieth place at Royal Portrush in Northern Eire in 2019.
“There can be no rivalry or something like that,” Alex mentioned. “On the finish of the day, we’re brothers as a lot as we’re golfers. I am for him, he is for me. We each help one another and we each need the most effective for one another.”
—Matt Fitzpatrick (@MattFitz94) July 15, 2023
However the Fitzpatrick brothers appear to maintain the rating.
Earlier this week, a tweet alleged that Alex had by no means completed higher than Matt in an expert event. Alex set the document straight on Saturday, noting he was tied for thirty seventh and Matt missed the 2022 Andalucia Masters Cup, an occasion Matt had gained the earlier yr on the DP World Tour.
“That tweet wasn’t totally right,” Alex mentioned. “I do not play with him usually, so it is laborious to beat him whenever you’ve solely performed about three occasions in your life collectively.”