Teenage sensation, Matthew Fitzpatrick, stepped up his successful campaign towards joining the professional ranks by finishing tied for 48th place in the US Open Championship and immediately accepted a sponsor’s invitation to play in the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic at Almouj Golf The Wave, Muscat, on Thursday, October 30-Sunday, November 2.
The 19 year old was only one of 11 players, which included the victorious Martin Kaymer, to shoot under par on the final day. Fitzpatrick’s 69 earned him an 11-over par total of 291 and another trophy for becoming low amateur, to follow the same prize he earned at The Open Championship at Muirfield last summer.
“To have one of the most exciting young prospects in world golf, Matthew Fitzpatrick, playing in the 2014 National Bank of Oman Golf Classic, is a considerable compliment to the status of our tournament. It will be interesting to follow the progress of Matthew in the professional ranks in the run-up to the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic at the end of October,” said Ahmed Muslamy, CEO of National Bank of Oman.
Fitzpatrick, who announced that he will turn professional prior to The Irish Open, which starts on June 19, commented: “The National Bank of Oman Golf Classic was one of the most exciting events on the Challenge Tour last season, so it will be great to play at this year’s tournament. Travelling the world and visiting different countries was one of the things I was most looking forward to about turning professional – hopefully I can play well and make my trip to Oman one to remember.”
The Sheffield-born Fitzpatrick is being hailed as the new Rory McIlroy. His achievements have been nothing short of spectacular. He became the first Englishman since 1911 to lift the USGA’s oldest trophy in winning the US Amateur at Brookline, Massachusetts, last August. The previous month he had earned the Silver Medal for being the top amateur at Muirfield, tying for 44th place.
The 2012 Boys Amateur Champion was Great Britain and Ireland’s leading point scorer at the 2013 Walker Cup and last September he was awarded the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the leading player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Despite missing the cut at the Masters Tournament by just one stroke in April earlier this year he finished tied for 23rd place at the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage the following week.
Fitzpatrick played a practice round on Pinehurst’s No. 2 course with Rory McIlroy on the Tuesday before the US Open and then played the first two rounds with Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose. “Rory was a great help,” said Fitzpatrick. “It was nice to speak to Rory and pick his brains about a few things. He said that I can ask him any questions I have, so that’s nice. It was good finding someone like that who’s willing to help me and show me the ropes, and he’s certainly done that and more. “I really enjoyed it. It was a great week. My aim was to win the low amateur, and to achieve it is pretty pleasing. It’s been great playing with some of the biggest names in the game and to close with a 69 was a great way to finish and a great way to end my amateur career at the US Open.”
Picture Caption: The new McIlroy? US Open Championship top amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick asks for advice from Rory McIlroy during their practice round together at Pinehurst No.2
Picture Caption: Matthew Fitzpatrick poses with his Silver Medal for being the leading amateur at the US Open Championship, finishing tied for 48th place.