OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – Matt Fitzpatrick was so frustrated with his game a week ago that he didn’t even want to play this week. Scottie Scheffler is right where he’s been almost all season – right in the thick of another high-stakes PGA Tour event.
Fitzpatrick and Scheffler are tied for the 54-hole lead at the BMW Championship at 11-under 199 with one round remaining. Fitzpatrick was bogey-free until the final hole but posted 4-under 66 at Olympia Fields, while Scheffler scrambled well and got help from his putter to shoot 64, the second-best score of the day in the 50-man field.
Ever since Fitzpatrick won the RBC Heritage in April, his game has fallen off sharply. Most notably, he has struggled off the tee, so much so that his caddie Billy Foster asked him in June, “How the hell have you finished top 20 in the U.S. Open driving the ball like me?”
“That’s what it feels like,” Fitzpatrick said this week. “Feels like I’ve been hitting driver like Billy.”
But last Saturday, he and swing coach Mike Walker found something simple on the range – he was overswinging so Fitzpatrick shortened his swing and it has been more in sync ever since. Problem solved.
“Why didn’t you tell me this three months ago?” Fitzpatrick cracked to Walker.
The Englishman was desperate for a strong week. Fitzpatrick is projected to improve all the way to fifth should he go on to win the BMW on Sunday.
“I like it when it’s windy and tough and it’s obviously getting firmer out there, as well,” Fitzpatrick said. “I just think tomorrow is supposed to be really, really hot. Obviously sort of playing very late, as well, again. So yeah, it’ll be very firm.”