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Matt Fitzpatrick enjoying lighter driver at 2024 Players Championship

Matt Fitzpatrick enjoying lighter driver at 2024 Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — With the weighty issue surrounding his driver solved, Matt Fitzpatrick once again feels good about his game.

Who knew 4 grams could lift such a burden?

Fitzpatrick is an analytical whisperer when it comes to golf, tracking every shot he hits during tournament play. But for much of last year, something felt a bit off when the Jupiter resident pulled out his driver.

He took the club to Titleist five weeks ago to have it shortened. They discovered a 4-gram weight in the grip. That jogged Fitzpatrick’s memory.

“I almost had a heart attack,” he said.

Fitzpatrick added weights to the grips of his irons about a year ago. That felt so good, about a month later he did the same with his driver.

The problem was that he forgot the weight was there, even as his driver started feeling uncomfortable.

“My fault,” Fitzpatrick said when asked if anyone was fired over Weight-gate.

After the discovery, Fitzpatrick felt the weight of the world was lifted … from his driver.

Now …

“I probably had five weeks of it and it’s been a mixed bag,” the 29-year-old said. “But from a feeling standpoint, it’s felt better.”

This week at the Players Championship, that bag is a good mix.

Fitzpatrick shot a 69 Friday, putting him 9-under for the first two rounds, five shots behind leader Wyndham Clark. He ended his second round leading the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, and second in driving distance.

So, can 4 grams make that much of a difference?

“Yeah,” he said. “The weight in the grip just made the ball go more right-to-left, basically more club closure.

“More face rotation, more kick from the shift. So left is the popular miss.”

Both days here, Fitzpatrick felt more like the man with two career PGA Tour wins, including the 2022 U.S. Open, at least off the tee.

“Just drove it well, drove it like I feel like I can drive it,” said Fitzpatrick, who also has eight wins on the DP World Tour.

“That obviously puts me in a great position to hit solid golf shots from there. To me, it felt a bit more like my old self, drove the ball well, putted well, and that’s kind of always been the key to when I’ve played well really.”

Of course, Fitzpatrick’s definition of playing well comes with a high standard. Even while being weighted down in 2023, the Englishman had one win, 11 top 25s and was a part of Europe’s dominating win over the U.S. in the Ryder Cup.

Fitzpatrick’s world ranking has hovered between No. 8 to…


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