How Matthew Fitzpatrick & Tyrrell Hatton can keep British golf on top

British golfer Matthew Fitzpatrick celebrates winning the DP World Tour Championship
Matthew Fitzpatrick won the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai

Compared with many modern sportsmen Matthew Fitzpatrick maintains modest motoring standards, but there is no doubting his place in the fast lane to golfing success.

The personable 22-year-old from Sheffield is now unquestionably Britain's brightest young talent in the men's game, following last Sunday's thrilling triumph in the DP World Tour Championship.

And the same can be said of 20-year-old Charley Hull, who claimed the women's Tour Championship title with her maiden LPGA triumph in Florida.

A final round 66 secured a two-stroke victory that will surely have a springboard effect on the Northamptonshire player's already highly promising young career.

Fitzpatrick is at the vanguard of a crop of homegrown men's talent ready to muscle in at the top of the sport. The list also includes High Wycombe's Tyrrell Hatton, who Fitzpatrick pipped to the season-ending crown.

And so, two years to the day after he earned his European Tour card, Fitzpatrick was able to celebrate his third title, following successes at the 2015 British Masters and this year's Nordea Masters.

He is the youngest Englishman to achieve a hat-trick of Tour wins, surpassing Sir Nick Faldo's record, which was set at the start of what proved the greatest British career in the modern era.

Fitzpatrick, who was driving a Ford Mondeo at the time of his debut win, turned his back on offers to drive flashier models as his career began to blossom because they might be targeted by thieves.

"So, I've got a very nice BMW 3 Series," he smiled in the wake of his Dubai triumph which, with a bonus for finishing sixth in the Race to Dubai, netted him around £1.3m.

There is a sense that the riches flowing his way are unlikely to turn Fitzpatrick's head. Despite his apparent youthful innocence, this former US Amateur Championship winner has honed a steely determination.

It has helped make him a formidable competitor, surely capable of challenging for the game's biggest prizes.

Sensibly, he has eschewed overtures from the leading club manufacturers to be able to use the equipment of his choice. It has meant he has been able to stick with the putter that has proven so reliable through his fledgling career.

With no contractual obligations to fulfil, he has also been able to swap drivers in recent weeks and arrived upon one that gave him the extra yardage that is so vital on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Despite popular perceptions, this relatively slight figure has been growing in stature off the tee in recent times. "In the past three months, I have been working very hard in the gym," Fitzpatrick said.

"And that has paid off as well."

Coaching team Mike Walker and Peter Cowen
Fitzpatrick has credited much of his success to his coaching team of Peter Cowen (l) and Mike Walker

'I wouldn't be here without them'

At the heart of his success, though, lies his relationship with the extraordinary English coaching combination of Mike Walker and Pete Cowen.

"They have just won the Order of Merit with Henrik Stenson and myself winning and [Masters winner] Danny Willett was in the running," Fitzpatrick added.

"Obviously I'm very biased, but I think they are the best coaches in the world for multiple reasons. Not just for teaching the golf game but just general life coaching as well.

"I wouldn't be here without them; not playing this standard of golf, anyway."

Stenson, who has just won his second Race to Dubai and is coached by Walker and Cowen, concurred. "I think that's a big part of his success," he said. "Of course, it is down to how hard he has worked and his talent, but also the help that we get along the way."

The Swede, who is celebrating his second Race to Dubai title, partnered Fitzpatrick in the foursomes at this year's Ryder Cup.

"The last 15 months have been phenomenal for him," Stenson said.

"He's got big potential, of course. He's not playing the power game, but he's hitting a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and putting well and he has a solid short game.

"So he is going to be around for a while, that's for sure."

Henrik Stenson and Matthew Fitzpatrick at the Ryder Cup
Henrik Stenson (l) and Fitzpatrick played foursomes together at this year's Ryder Cup

'We'll push each other forward'

All the signs suggest Hatton is on a similarly upward trajectory. The 25-year-old winner of October's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship came desperately close to a second title in Dubai as he and Fitzpatrick dominated the final day.

"It's exciting moving forward and hopefully there will be many more occasions like this," Hatton told BBC Sport.

"There are a few lads that are doing really well at the moment and I'm sure in the years to come that we'll be pushing each other forward."

Two such players, Chris Wood, 28, and Andy Sullivan, 30, represent England in this week's World Cup at Melbourne's magnificent Kingston Heath layout.

Scotland's Russell Knox, 31, is also there and these are some of the players taking over from the generation of Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter.

With Rory McIlroy, still only 27 and at number two in the world, there is plenty of cause for optimism for UK golf. Don't be surprised if Fitzpatrick soon hits further heights fuelled by confidence from his stellar Dubai triumph.