US AMATEUR champion Matt Fitzpatrick continues his journey into the porfessional ranks in Azerbaijan this week.
The Challenge Tour’s maiden voyage to Azerbaijan is an entirely new experience even for the most seasoned of players; but for Fitzpatrick in particular everything feels fresh, having only made his debut on the developmental tour in last week’s Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.
That Fitzpatrick confessed to feeling mildly disappointed with a tied-eighth finish in France, having at one point led on the final day, shows the levels of expectation he – and other observers – have placed on the shoulders of a Yorkshireman who won the silver medal at the Open and the US amateur title last year, before turning professional after June’s US Open.
“Last week was definitely a learning curve for me,” said the 19-year-old from Sheffield.
“I played really well for 63 holes, but unfortunately couldn’t quite finish it off on the back nine on Sunday.
“Everyone says that’s where the tournament is won or lost, and unfortunately it was the latter for me.
“But I don’t feel like I threw it away, it was more a case of Andrew (Johnston) playing very well to win.
“And I have to remind myself I’m still only 19, so I’ve still got so much to learn about myself and the game.”