HALLAMSHIRE’S Alex Fitzpatrick just ran out of holes as he tried to battle his way back from a six-hole deficit in the 36-hole final of the Spanish amateur championship at La Manga.
Yorkshire champion Fitzpatrick – attempting to add his name to a list of winners that includes fellow Sheffielder Danny Willett, the 2016 US Masters champion – was down by three at the halfway point against Hampshire’s Billy McKenzie and after a further four holes in the afternoon round trailed by six.
But then Fitzpatrick launched a stirring fightback and after 32 holes only trailed by two. However, McKenzie won the 33rd to return to three up and after the players halved the 34th the title went to the man from Rowlands Castle 3&2.
Neverthless, it was an outstanding performance from the younger brother of Ryder Cup player Matt.
He was one of eight Englishman who had made their way into the match-play stages of the event, filling one-quarter of the available spots.
Fitzpatrick defeated Norway’s Kristoffer Reitan 4&3 in the first round before going on to end the hopes of fellow-Englishmen Robin Williams (one hole) and Joseph Long (5&4), and Spain’s Angel Hidalgo (one hole).
Willett won the event, for the Copa SM El Rey, at Club Golf De Pals ten years ago. It was his final win as an amateur before joining the professional ranks two months later.