Rising English golfer Fitzpatrick to play Singapore Open

World No. 40 Matthew Fitzpatrick is the youngest Englishman to win three European Tour titles.
World No. 40 Matthew Fitzpatrick is the youngest Englishman to win three European Tour titles.

It is not difficult to see why Matthew Fitzpatrick is touted as Europe's next big thing in golf.

At the age of 22, the talented golfer won the 2016 DP World Tour Championship, the flagship event on the European Tour, in Dubai.

In the process, he became the youngest Englishman to claim three European Tour titles. The man he replaced in the record books? Former world No. 1 and six-time Major champion Nick Faldo.

Now 24, Fitzpatrick will showcase his talent at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course at the 2019 SMBC Singapore Open from Jan 17-20.

The world No. 40 confirmed his participation in the US$1 million (S$1.37 million) competition yesterday and said in a statement: "I am thrilled to confirm I will play in next year's SMBC Singapore Open... The tournament has a great reputation and is an ideal way for me to start 2019.

"It boasts an amazing list of past champions such as Sergio (Garcia) this year, so it's an exciting opportunity for me and one that I am really looking forward to."

After turning professional in 2014, he has won in every season since 2015 and arrives in the Republic with five European Tour wins.

The 2013 US amateur champion's maiden victory came in October 2015 at the British Masters. That saw him break into the top 100 of the world rankings at 59th.

The Sheffield native then won two more titles the following year, the Nordea Masters and the DP World Tour Championships, which earned him a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team who lost 17-11 to the United States.

Last year, he claimed his fourth European Tour win at the European Masters and he won it again this year to become the first player to successfully defend the title since the late Spanish great Seve Ballesteros 40 years ago.

Defending champion and 2017 Masters winner Garcia will make his third successive appearance in Singapore. He will be joined by former Major winner Davis Love III.

The 54-year-old American, who won the 1997 PGA Championship and captained the US Ryder Cup teams in 2012 and 2016, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last year.

For a third straight season, the tournament will also be part of the qualifying series for The Open Championship. The top four non-exempt players will book a place for the July 18-21 Major at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Tickets for the Singapore Open are on sale via Apactix.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2018, with the headline 'Rising English golfer Fitzpatrick to play Singapore Open'. Print Edition | Subscribe