Matt Fitzpatrick has two-shot lead at European Masters and closes on Ryder Cup place

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Matt Fitzpatrick has doubled his lead at the European Masters to two shots after the third round as he aims to seal his place at the Ryder Cup this month. Alex Fitzpatrick, the younger brother of Matt, is a shot further back tied for fifth with Nicolai Højgaard. They made 68 and 66, respectively.

Matt Fitzpatrick briefly ceded the lead to Björk when making double bogey at the par-3 13th – hooking his tee shot into green-side water – but fired three birdies in the closing five holes.

“That was really important. It could have easily unraveled,” Fitzpatrick said of his late-round rally. He also dropped shots at holes 1 and 9. The European Masters typically has a tight finish, and the past nine editions have been won either in a playoff or by one stroke.

Fitzpatrick’s 2017 and ’18 victories were in playoffs, and a third title in the mountains would match Spanish great Seve Ballesteros. “There’s a lot of things for me this week,” Fitzpatrick said. “I can wrap up Ryder Cup and I can obviously match Seve’s record.”

The European Masters is the last qualifying event for Europe. The Ryder Cup is from Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Marco Simone club near Rome.

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