The New Matt Fitzpatrick
Matt Fitzpatrick has not found much success in major championships. He acknowledged a lack of consistency throughout his 28 career major starts following his opening round this week. In that same breath, the 27-year old also revealed a new mindset with an emphasis on patience on the game's grandest stages.
That patience has led Fitzpatrick into Sunday’s final pairing, where he will have his best chance to capture his first major title. The Englishman has been a model of consistency thus far in Tulsa while carding rounds of 68, 69 and 67. One more round like that and he could become just the second player from England to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy.
And not to get too far ahead of ourselves ... but this is a look-ahead piece, after all. Next month’s U.S. Open just so happens to be at The Country Club, where Fitzpatrick won the 2013 U.S. Amateur.
Youth Vs. Experience
The top six players through 54 holes have a combined two PGA Tour wins: Abraham Ancer's 2021 WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Seamus Power's breakthrough at last summer's Barbasol Championship. That's not to discount Fitzpatrick's seven wins in Europe, but it does paint the picture that a handful of the players in contention tomorrow will be in the heat of a championship Sunday for the very first time.
Lurking just behind the youngsters is a group of four major veterans - Stewart Cink, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, who have combined for 41 PGA Tour wins and five major championships. Although there's no team format, this has a similar feel to the recent Grizzlies-Warriors matchup in the NBA playoffs.
Will the major-tested player emerge? Or could Sunday deliver a first-time major champion?
Another Sunday Charge?
Just as Rory McIlroy drifted out of the Saturday television coverage after a triple-bogey on No. 11, the two-time PGA champion played his way back in by completing his final six holes in 2-under. A closing three-putt bogey stung, but before we file this as another major opportunity gone by for the 18-hole leader, let’s first recall when McIlroy brought the house down during the final round of the Masters with a sensational 64. This left him three shots behind Scottie Scheffler – who helped close that gap himself – but it’s reason enough to justify the sentiment that Rory isn’t finished in Tulsa just yet.
More PGA Championship Coverage from Morning Read
> Pereira? Zalatoris? Fitzpatrick? This PGA is Anyone's Guess
> Tiger Withdraws from PGA Championship After Third-Round 79
> Tiger Woods Balloons to 79 on Saturday in Unfavorable Weather
> Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy Shoot Disappointing 74s, Putting PGA Nearly Out of Reach
> In Dreary, Cold Conditions, Webb Simpson Fires Saturday 65
> Jack Nicklaus is Being Sued by the Nicklaus Companies
> ESPN Anchor Sage Steele Thanks Medical Personnel After Accident
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