Thomas Bjorn believes Matt Fitzpatrick has the potential to become a leading light in Europe’s Ryder Cup plans for years to come.
Fitzpatrick currently sits ninth in the World Points List and occupies the final automatic qualification spot with two events remaining, with the 21-year-old looking to secure his spot with a strong showing at the Czech Masters.
Bjorn – one of Darren Clarke’s vice-captains – played alongside Fitzpatrick and fellow Ryder Cup hopeful Andy Sullivan for the opening two rounds in Prague, where he was left impressed by his back-to-back 69s.
“He (Fitzpatrick) looks like he’s coming in to the right kind of form right now,” Bjorn told Sky Sports. “He looks aggressive, smart in his golf and plays with the maturity of someone much older than he is.
“We know he has the right mentality, he’s one of the brightest young prospects in world golf. The Ryder Cup is a big boy’s game, but the experienced players in the team will help him along and make him feel comfortable.
“At 21 he has so many Ryder Cups ahead of him, it’s just a question of him now getting in to his first one and learning and becoming one of the greatest Ryder Cup players Europe has ever produced.”
Sullivan joined Bjorn in missing the cut at Albatross Golf Resort, but the Dane is confident the three-time European Tour winner can still play a key part in Europe’s line-up at Hazeltine.
Bjorn added: “It obviously wasn’t the week that Sullivan would have wanted, but I always have said that he’s one of I have always said that he’s one of the rookies I would worry about the least.
“His attitude towards things and how excited he is about the prospect of making the team will stand him well.
“They’ll be great additions to the team, if they make it, and I’m sure they’ll make their fair share of points. You need new blood and new players once in a while to come in and take over, so it’s up for them to stand up and show how good they are.”
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