'As Much Fun As I've Had In...About Four Days!' - Matt Fitzpatrick Enjoys Flying Start With Brother Alex

Matt and Alex Fitzpatrick made a flying start to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on the PGA Tour

Matt and Alex Fitzpatrick
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Matt Fitzpatrick says playing with his brother Alex was an experience “right up there” with the best he’s had on the golf course, after a flying start to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in his bid to help his sibling win a PGA Tour card.

Along with a $1 million winning prize, Challenge Tour player Alex could get a two-year PGA Tour exemption if he and US Open champion Matt can get a win in New Orleans – and they started brilliantly with a 10-under first round putting them just one shot off the lead.

Fresh off a win at the RBC Heritage, Matt said it was a “no-brainer” to use the perks of being US Open champion to play with Alex in this week’s event, in which the Sheffield pair really fancy their chances.

The two siblings look to have a great relationship, and even though PGA Tour regular Matt was delighted to play in such a big event with his younger brother, he delivered it with his typically dry Yorkshire wit.

“It's as much fun as I've had on the golf course in, well, about four days, to be fair,” Matt Fitzpatrick joked, referencing his win at Harbour Town on Sunday. “Yeah, it's right up there.”

“No, it really is,” he added. “It's just so different. We don't do this - well, we've never done this, obviously. I think it's nice to play a bit of team golf. It's something different.

“Yeah, it was a great day.”

Alex, who is just starting out in his professional career, echoed his brother’s sentiments about enjoying their family affair on the PGA Tour.

“I guess I've been professional about a year, and it couldn't be further away from anything else. I had so much fun out there,” he said after the round.

“It was extra special spending time with him and being on the course, but playing together and working together is a lot of fun, and yeah, it helps a little bit when you have a good score. Yeah, it was great.”

Matt said before the tournament that he’d feel no extra pressure if they had a chance on Sunday to earn what could be a career-changer for his younger brother, instead focusing on enjoying the experience.

And as well as trying to dovetail in this team competition, they seem to do that well off the course too as contrasting personalities - albeit with a similar sense of humour.

Matt summed it up when describing the pair’s relationship before the event, saying: “I would say we're pretty close. I think we're polar opposites I would say. 

"I'm organized, he's unorganized. He's happy, I'm miserable. Yeah, that's probably a good way to put it really.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.