Matt Fitzpatrick Tries for No. 3 at the DP World Tour Championship

Matt Fitzpatrick, 28, of England returns to the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after winning his first major in June, taking the United States Open. He also returns to Dubai, having won the tournament twice, a tie for the most wins with three other players.“I always look forward to this week,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s a tournament I play well, and I enjoy going to it.”The following conversation has been edited and condensed.You won the DP World Tour Championship by one shot in 2016 and 2020. How are you feeling this year?I’m definitely more relaxed. It’s the end of the season, so it’s a nice time of the year. I’ve had some time off now for these last couple of weeks to relax and practice a little bit. I’m in good shape. I’m gearing up for it. I’m ready to finish strong.Rory McIlroy has won the tournament twice. You two are also battling it out in DP Tour rankings, with McIlroy leading. What’s your relationship with him?He’s great. I see him a lot down here in Florida. We have grown closer over the last couple of years. We don’t play a lot of golf together; I don’t play a lot here. I practice. But we have had some good chats. He’s playing the best golf of his career right now. It’ll be a challenge to go up against him. But if there was a golf course I could choose to go up against him, it would be this one. He’s played well there, also. It’s going to be exciting.You’re in the Netflix documentary on behind-the-scenes life in the PGA Tour. How did filming go?It’s been good. I was kind of nervous about it at first. It’s something so different. They just want natural content and want you to go through your daily routine. It was difficult at first to get used to them hanging around, but as we went along it got easier and better. I felt like I had to think about what I was going to say, but by the end of it I was comfortable. It’s not like I was saying anything that was crazy, anyway. I could just be myself.How did winning the U.S. Open change you? Did you gain more confidence since winning it?It’s definitely a confidence boost. I can win a major under the pressure. I’ve proved that to myself. The big thing is realizing that what I’ve been doing for the past three or four years is good enough to get me to where I need to be. That’s the big thing that sort of stood out to me. I don’t need to do anything drastic, or change the way I play the game. I’ve just been slowly chipping away, and it’s paid off.You have done exceptionally well with earnings this year with a little over $7 million, which represents exactly half of your career winnings. How does a good year like that affect you?The big thing for me is learning to value my time. You need to find the balance. It’s all new to me. Everything has changed. Some people win majors and all of a sudden their life changes so much. They’re flying private everywhere. They’re enjoying it too much and forget that they’re still trying to play golf. I’m trying to balance that. I’m making sure I’m still working hard and trying to play golf, as well as switching off, but not getting carried away.You were runner-up last year. Does a loss like that stay with you?I just see it as a great finish. I really felt like I played well that last day, really the whole weekend. I just had that one bad hole. The more I’ve been out here, the more I learn to let things go.

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