Fitzpatrick thrilled by looming Ryder Cup debut


Matt Fitzpatrick is excitedly looking ahead to a Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine next month after his place in Darren Clarke's European team was effectively confirmed on Sunday.

Fitzpatrick finished fifth at the Czech Masters in Prague and is now all but certain to claim one of the nine automatic qualifying slots.

"It's very exciting now," said the 21-year-old Englishman. "We can look forward to it and get my game in shape.

"I've probably been in the team for the longest period of time. It started a few weeks before I won at the British Masters [last October] and jumped into the team and I've managed to stay there since then. It's been absolutely phenomenal and I'm just delighted to be in the team.

"It's a great opportunity, I've got my first one coming up and hopefully I can just keep pushing on my game and getting better.

Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson, Chris Wood, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Andy Sullivan are the other automatic European qualifiers.

Captain Clarke will then add three wildcard picks, with the experienced figures of Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer among those favoured to be selected given the number of rookies already in Europe's team.

The Ryder Cup takes place from September 30 to October 2, with the USA having won only one of the last seven matches - in 2008.