Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy’s reactions to same setback speak volumes at Masters

Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy, who are Ryder Cup teammates, experienced the same setback on Friday at the Masters, but they responded to it quite differently.

Following Day One delays due to inclement weather at the Augusta Masters, players Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick would have been happy to turn in cards totaling 71. However, Day Two brought with it a plethora of fresh difficulties.

The play was extremely slow, in addition to the wind being worse. Specifically, McIlroy’s round took six hours. As their annoyance increased, both men committed the same costly mistake: failing to locate the water.

McIlroy made the right play on the difficult par-4 11th hole. The 11th hole is one of the hardest on the course, if not the hardest. It rewards players who take the green instead of the water. The bailout is appropriate, but chipping is now challenging due to new fairway contours.

But the approach of the Northern Irishman struck the water. He groaned a little to his caddie, but all he could do was laugh in despair. He appeared unfazed as he approached the water, chipped in close, missed the putt, and made a double bogey despite knowing his fate.

He did not react as he left the green. As McIlroy got closer to the par-3 12th hole, he controlled his emotions. He didn’t reveal what was on his mind, but it will stay with him.

And Fitzpatrick is not capable of being described in that way. The Englishman chose, like almost every other golfer in the awful weather, to lay up on the par-5 15th. His shot, though, was overcooked and ended up in the lake. Fitzpatrick didn’t realize he had lost his ball until he arrived at the crime scene because of the way the hole was laid out.

The 29-year-old lost it when he realized the ball he was approaching on the fairway wasn’t his. It was beyond his comprehension how his ball got into the water. He gestured and waved his arms at his caddie for several minutes, and at one point he placed his hands on his head.

Fitzpatrick chipped in, missed his putt, and removed a bogey, just like McIlroy did. But Fitzpatrick, in contrast to McIlroy, was clearly angry. The British player headed off the green and toward the sixteenth tee, shaking his head with a thunderous expression.

Fans were able to witness his true feelings as he expressed how much the missed shot meant to him. Even worse, on the way back, he and McIlroy both bogeyed again. Fitzpatrick ended the day with 73 to tie for the tournament lead, while McIlroy had 77 going into the 4-over on Saturday.

When asked about how the wind affected his round, McIlroy replied, “Yeah, it’s hard.” It’s mentally taxing because all you have to do is try to give the shot you’re trying to play your all. A shot that is playing 150 one moment could be playing 180 the next, depending on how the wind changes. There could be a thirty-yard gap.

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