Matt Fitzpatrick chasing first win of season at Nedbank Golf Challenge

Matt Fitzpatrick has not given up hope of a late challenge for Race to Dubai victory ahead of returning to action at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

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Fitzpatrick sat out of the Turkish Airlines Open to stay rested ahead of the final of the final two events of the European Tour season, with the 25-year-old still in the running to become European No 1.

Shane Lowry and Jon Rahm are both skipping this week’s event in South Africa, leaving Fitzpatrick – fourth in the season-long standings – as the highest-ranked challenger to current leader Bernd Wiesberger in the field.

Fitzpatrick trails the Austrian by just under 1,150 points but can move ahead of him with a victory, worth 1,665 points, with Fitzpatrick keen to build on four runner-up finishes this season and end his 2019 strongly.

“I wouldn’t say pressure to win,” said Fitzpatrick, who has registered at least one victory in each of his previous four seasons. “I would say pressure to contend. I’m fourth on the Race to Dubai and there’s a chance to win still. It’s probably the closest I’ve been so far in my career to winning it.

“You know, two good weeks and you never know what happens. Obviously without winning either of them, the results have got to go heavily my way, but win one or both — win both, it will do. But certainly win one of them, it puts me right up there.

“I’ve not played as much this year. That’s one thing when Billy (Foster) came on the bag, that’s one thing he stressed. Looking at my schedule in years gone by, I was playing 30, 31, 32 events and this year I think I’m at 28 maybe.

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