Matt Fitzpatrick admitted that his Ryder Cup fate is in his own hands after a second round 69 at the D+D REAL Czech Masters moved the Englishman to within four shots of the lead in Prague.
The 21 year old, who experienced the leadership of European Captain Darren Clarke at the EurAsia Cup earlier this year, has dropped just one shot over 36 holes this week to sit in a tie for third.
Fitzpatrick currently occupies the final automatic spot in the side that will travel to Hazeltine next month and acknowledged the importance of performing well at Albatross Golf Resort over the weekend.
“It’s a great start to the week for me,” said the two-time European Tour winner. “I think everyone in the world knows it’s a big week, as is next week, so to start like this is very pleasing.
“At the minute, it’s in my hands. If I have a good week here and a good week next week then I’ll close it up.”
With three top tens this season, including a share of seventh at the Masters Tournament, Fitzpatrick currently occupies ninth place in the World Points List, but the final spot in the overall standings, which would ensure he boards the plan to the United States next month.
His playing partners for the first two rounds in Prague were Ryder Cup Vice Captain Thomas Bjørn and potential team-mate in Minnesota, Andy Sullivan. Fitzpatrick believes Sullivan’s presence in the European team could prove to be a positive in difficult circumstances.
“He’s [Sullivan] always smiling, laughing and joking out there. I think that’s a big thing if you’ve got that on your team. Even though he’s a rookie, he might be the one to put his arm around you and say ‘come on, just keep it going and win another point.’ All being well, we’ll be in that team in September.”