AUGUSTA, Ga. — Matt Fitzpatrick turned in a one-under 71 on Thursday. A good score, given the windy conditions. And a very good score, given Fitz is having equipment issues. Again.

The former U.S. Open champion briefly spoke after his first round at the Masters and relayed that his current set of Ping Blueprint S irons are not optimized for Augusta National.

“Just my short irons just do not want to spin,” Fitzpatrick said Thursday afternoon. “Like they do not want to spin. So you get some that I hit and ball just goes forever. Prime example on the last there, just wants to go forever. You don’t know when you’re going to get them.” Fitzpatrick was referring to his approach at the 18th, which airmailed the green.

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The frustration was clear in his stats; despite finding 11 of 14 fairways, Fitzpatrick hit just 10 greens in regulation. The Englishman explained he’s struggled with the problem for the past three weeks.

“Did some work on it last week. Did some work on it this week,” Fitzpatrick said. “You know, the numbers are kind of okay but there is only so much you can do with the set I’ve got. I like the set. I have actually been hitting them well. Just having two or three a round where it’s like, that is not right.”

Fitzpatrick is methodical about all aspects of his game, so it’s a bit surprising he would come into the Masters with a set of clubs he wasn’t totally in concert with. That Fitzpatrick doesn’t have an equipment deal, meaning he’s free to play whatever sticks he wants, also makes this decision interesting.

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Yet this development is especially notable in that it’s the second equipment issue Fitzparick has dealt with this season. Last month at the Players Championship, Fitzpatrick said his driving issues were correlated to an unknown weight in his grip, which he had for the better part of the year.

Still, as Augusta National is known as a second-shot course, Fitzpatrick conceded this week’s setup is “not ideal.”

“Fortunately most of the trouble is short, so if it is going miles at least you’re going long,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick, six shots behind Round 1 leader Bryson DeChambeau, tees off at 1:36 p.m. on Friday.

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