Fitzpatrick turned down LIV Golf ahead of Irish Open debut

John Craven

Alex Fitzpatrick in Mount Juliet (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

John Craven

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Alex Fitzpatrick has revealed that he turned down an approach from LIV Golf ahead of his professional debut at this week’s Horizon Irish Open.

Having risen to as high as fourth in the world amateur golf rankings, the brother to U.S. Open champion Matt was a man in demand as he made his move to the pro circuit following a superb career at Wake Forest.

It prompted the 23-year old to sit down with his family to identify what success in golf would look like ahead of a hopeful long career in the game and after weighing up that question, Fitzpatrick decided on a conventional path motivated by winning titles knowing that the money would then take care of itself.

“It was a long discussion with my family about what the best scenario is, and we all came to the same conclusion, which was, ‘why do you play golf?’,” Fitzpatrick explained from Mount Juliet on Tuesday.

“And that to me was hopefully winning trophies and building yourself a legacy, and I felt like the best place to do that was starting on the PGA Tour.

“Obviously you want to win majors and win PGA Tour events, and that’s hopefully where I see myself going. That was the final conclusion we came to.”

Inevitably questions soon turned to Fitzpatrick’s brother, Matt, and although Alex has no shortage of motivation to one day replicate and even surpass his brother’s achievements at Brookline and beyond, he insists he’s his own man as he tries his best to get there.

“We’re different in a lot of ways. Our games are completely different,” Alex said.

“I would say he’s a great driver of the golf ball and a great putter, and I would say my iron and short game would be better than his. Hard to say when he’s just won the U.S. Open! I think if we were one player, we would be pretty good as well.

“Mainly he tells me all the time, “Hit it straight and you’ll be just fine.” If I can start doing the same stuff he does, then hopefully I’ll be fine.”

Asked if Fitzpatrick’s maiden Major win will be a source of inspiration, Fitzpatrick smiled;

“Yeah, I’d like to win a U.S. Open, to be honest, it would be nice!”

Fitzpatrick proved himself a winner during his spell at Wake Forest, winning three times whilst earning invites to the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. Dressed head to toe in Nike apparel, Fitzpatrick not only looks the part but is feeling comfortable with his new status in the pro ranks, albeit while still getting used to the idea that he might actually be paid at week’s end for a change.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play in a couple of these now, and a PGA Tour event,” he said. “Felt like I learned a lot playing them. I don’t know, I would say I feel prepared for this week. It’s a little different knowing that you can actually earn money, strange to me.

“I’ve been an amateur for so long. But yeah, just it’s normally just the same routine, kind of practise the first couple days and start first day, four rounds and see where you go.”

Fitzpatrick is living with his former Wake Forest teammate and Kilkenny ace Mark Power this year and the housemates both tee up this week in Mount Juliet. Asked if he could describe the golf game of his good friend Power, Fitzpatrick joked;

“I could really get him here. Powerful and erratic!

“No, he’s great. He’s one of those players that’s capable of shooting 61 on any given day and especially around here on this golf course, I’m sure he’ll play great and I’m sure his name will be up there this week or at some point soon.”

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