‘You’re free Al?’ The hilarious way Matt Fitzpatrick asked his brother to play the Zurich Classic
Matt Fitzpatrick already gained some fans this year from his episode on Netflix’s ‘Full Swing,’ but this next move is sure to get him some more.
On Monday, the reigning U.S. Open champion committed to play the PGA Tour’s only team event, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, with his brother, Alex. Shortly after the announcement, Fitzpatrick tweeted a screenshot of the text that led to the decision.
“17-23rd April you’re free Al?” Matt texted his brother through their family group chat on the Saturday of the Players Championship after he missed the cut.
“Yeah Howcome?” [sic] Alex responded.
“We playing Zurich then?”
“If you want to! Entirely up to you.”
“Yeah we’re in.”
The tournament will be Alex’s second career PGA Tour start. The 24-year-old turned pro last year and played golf on the PGA Tour Canada and a few DP World Tour events. That was after a fairly successful amateur career which saw him compete at Wake Forest and reach as high as No. 4 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Their history as a partnership goes back to 2013 when a 14-year-old Alex caddied for Matt in his victorious run at the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club. Matt then won the U.S. Open last year at the same course.
This is the second time a pair of brothers have teamed up at the Zurich Classic since the event moved to a team format in 2017 (Brooks and Chase Koepka competed that year). The first member of a team is eligible through the PGA Tour priority rankings, but the second either must be a PGA Tour member or gain a sponsors exemption.
Alex, who has no PGA Tour status yet, later revealed to the Challenge Tour that the tournament had approached Matt about the two of them playing together. He also said the invite wasn’t as simple as the group text made it seem.
“It took a bit of persuading from me and my coach Mark Blackburn and probably a couple of others including my dad and my mom, but we eventually got through to [Matt],” Alex said. “I would say he’s excited for it, as much as I am. It’s not very often that two brothers get to play together.”
A year ago, it was the father-son duo of Bill and Jay Haas which turned heads in New Orleans as Jay, at 68, broke Sam Snead’s record for the oldest player to make a cut on the PGA Tour.
The Zurich Classic is set for April 20-23 with teams competing in fourball for the first and third rounds and alternate shot in the second and final rounds.