In an all-Ryder Cup group that also contained Justin Rose, last year’s US Open champion Fitzpatrick had most to be pleased about as he signed for a six-under-par 66 to sit in a share of second spot behind Danish pacesetter Marcus Helligkilde.
“Yeah, it was a good day,” said the Englishman of an effort that contained eight birdies, including one from 18 feet at the last. “Felt like I played really well. Drove the ball really well. Just gave myself plenty of chances and putted well. Overall, it was a really solid day.”
Fitzpatrick, who qualified automatically along with MacIntyre, will be playing in his third Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome and is hoping to be on a winning team for the first time.
"Yeah there were a few - do you want me to reveal all the pairings?” he said, jokingly, in reply to being asked if there had been any conversation in the group about the biennial event.
“I was talking to Bob a little bit because this is obviously going to be his first time, his is in Europe and obviously my first time in Europe as well. We were just chatting about various bits and pieces, who is coming from his family and stuff and same on my side. It was a nice casual day.”