US Open: Only way is up for Fitzpatrick as he gets ready to enter big league

Sheffield's Matthew Fitzpatrick hits from the fairway on the 18th hole during the final round of the US Open.

Sheffield's Matthew Fitzpatrick hits from the fairway on the 18th hole during the final round of the US Open.

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SHEFFIELD’s Matt Fitzpatrick completed his amateur career in style yesterday with a final round of 69 in the US Open at Pinehurst.

Of the 11 amateurs in the field, Fitzpatrick was the only one to make the halfway cut and therefore became the first player to hold the title of low amateur at the US Open and Open Championship at the same time since Bobby Jones in 1930.

The 19-year-old won the silver medal as leading amateur in the Open at Muirfield last July and a month later became the first Englishman since 1911 to win the US Amateur title.

That secured invitations to this year’s Masters – he missed the cut by one at Augusta – and US Open, where he partnered defending champion Justin Rose and Open champion Phil Mickelson in the first two rounds.

“It’s been a great week, I really enjoyed it,” said Fitzpatrick, who will make his professional debut in the Irish Open at Fota Island next week. “My aim was to win the low amateur and to achieve it is pretty pleasing.

“Playing with some of the biggest names – I played with Phil and Justin, a practice round with Rory (McIlroy), playing with Louis (Oosthuizen) on the last day – has been great.

“I think if I would have missed the cut by a mile, I think it’s always a tough one to then go to my first pro event not playing very well. I think four rounds of competitive golf is always a positive.”

Fitzpatrick is allowed invitations to seven European Tour events for the rest of the season, during which time he hopes to earn enough money to secure his card for next season.

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