BROOKLINE, Mass. – Matthew Fitzpatrick must’ve cleaned up a few extra bowls of clam chowder this week.
Fitzpatrick has turned in a 2-under performance through 36 holes of the U.S. Open at The Country Club while also showcasing some notable gains off the tee. He entered the week ranked outside the top 100 on Tour in driving distance at 298 yards per poke.
But he’s stretched that average out to 309.1 yards, just shy of his playing competitor Dustin Johnson, who is top 15 on Tour in length with the big stick.
“I'll be honest, before [Thursday’s] round when I saw I was playing with DJ, part of me was thinking, don't try and go after it when DJ hits,” Fitzpatrick said. “Like, don't try and keep up, because I know I've got some extra length.”
On Friday, as Fitzpatrick posted an even-par 70, he actually showed more pop than Johnson, by 2 yards. By quick count, Fitzpatrick outdrove Johnson on six holes in which they hit the same club.
Notably, on the fourth hole, Fitzpatrick launched one 342 yards to Johnson’s 337.
“Hitting the drives I hit this week so far and seeing where he's hit his has been quite eye-opening for me,” Fitzpatrick added.
“And just, again, it's great for me to give me more confidence going into the rest of the year, rest of the next five years. … If now on paper I'm hitting it past DJ, you look at the success he's had, if I can emulate that, then I'll be a very happy man.”