Victorious Fitzpatrick follows in Nicklaus’s footsteps as Ewart Shadoff revels in Solheim Cup glory

Two Yorkshire golfers made history in the United States last night on a memorable day for the county’s golfing fraternity.

England's Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sheffield amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick became the first Englishman to win the prestigious US Amateur title for more than a century.

And after helping Europe take command of the Solheim Cup on Saturday afternoon, Middleham’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff ensured Lizolette Neumann’s team closed out a first win on American soil in the history of the competition.

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Fitzpatrick, who won the silver medal for being the leading amateur at Muirfield last month, defeated Australia’s Oliver Goss 4&3 to claim the US Amateur title.

Europe's Charley Hull, left, from England, is congratulated by teammate Jodi Ewart Shadoff, also from England, after Hull birdied the 17th hole during a fourball match against Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson, of the United States, at the Solheim Cup. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

He becomes the first Englishman to win the title since Harold Hilton in 1911, and first Briton since Richie Ramsay seven years ago.

The victory assures him a place at next year’s US Open and possibly the Masters as well. The 18-year-old also sealed for himself the No 1 ranking in the men’s amateur game with his heroics at Brookline.

The first 18 holes yesterday afternoon had been nip and tuck with never more than a hole in it as Fitzpatrick tussled with his 19-year-old counterpart from Down Under.

Goss levelled at the start of the second round but pars at the 20th and 21st holes put Fitzpatrick back in command.

He would never relinquish that lead as he secured the title at the 15th hole, the fifth time he had won a knockout match at Brookline on that hole.

“I mean, it’s absolutely amazing,” said Fitzpatrick, who won the US Amateur on the same course where legendary amateur Francis Ouimet claimed his US Open victory against Harry Vardon and Ted Ray exactly a century ago.

“I can’t really describe how I’m feeling at the minute. That’s sort of what everyone wants in golf, wants to achieve, and I’m pretty sure Justin Rose said that after his US Open that it’s nice to go down in the history books.”

Fitzpatrick had reached the final by coming through his toughest match of the knockout stages on Saturday, when he defeated Canada’s Corey Connors 2&1.

Asked afterward about qualifying for the US Open at Pinehurst and his likely appearance at Augusta, Fitzpatrick said: “Absolutely fantastic, it’s the stuff you dream of as a little kid.

“To play in the Open earlier in the year, I thought that might be it for quite a while, but to at least play in a US Open will be absolutely fantastic.”

The Hallamshire Golf Club member sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-four 17th to wrap up victory over Connors.

“It’s nice not to have been on the 18th yet, although I’ve got to go there at least once (yesterday),” said Fitzpatrick, who will begin a four-year golf scholarship at Northwestern University in Chicago next month.

“It was nice to play 16, 17 (Saturday) and I finished well, so it should be a good game.”

The US Amateur is one of the most prestigious events on the golfing calendar.

Jack Nicklaus won it twice, and whenever asked how many majors he won, he always says 20, taking into account the two occasions he won the amateur crown before blazing a trail in the professional game.

Tiger Woods won it three years in succession from 1994, and Phil Mickelson also has it on his cv.

To put his achievement into further context, when he started the week at Brookline, Fitzpatrick was just one of 312 hopefuls.

Across America at the Colorado Golf Club near Denver, Europe’s women sealed an historic 18-10 triumph over the United States

Ewart Shadoff, 25, who plays out of Masham Golf Club and lives in Florida, played her part with two points as Neumann’s young and unfancied team won by the biggest margin in the 23-year history of the competition.

Europe began the singles needing just four points for victory.

English 17-year-old Charley Hull got the ball rolling with a sparkling display against Paula Creamer. She never let the advantage slip on her way to securing a 5&4 win for the first of the four points needed.

Hull said: “It’s amazing, especially in America, the first time ever.

“It’s been fantastic, so many nice people on the team. They’re not as scary as they look on TV. It’s awesome. I’m loving life.”

The only thing which threatened to stop them on another day of European dominance was the weather, which saw play suspended for an hour with the visitors on the brink.

When play resumed, Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall sank a birdie putt on the 18th to secure a one-up victory against the United States’ Michelle Wie which put Europe 14-7 ahead, ensuring they kept the trophy they won in Ireland in 2011.

Ewart Shadoff was a 3&2 winner over Brittany Lincicome.

“I can’t even put it into words. This is absolutely unreal,” she said.

“The sort of pressure you feel this week, you can’t really compare it to anything.”

Ewart Shadoff – who attended New Mexico University on a four-year scholarship from the age of 18 – also played her part in a whitewash of the United States team in the Saturday afternoon fourballs.

On an afternoon which surpassed the expectations of even the most optimistic European supporters, they turned the scoreboard blue to stretch their advantage to 10.5 to 5.5 with a gutsy and skilful display headlined by Hedwall, who claimed her fourth point of the contest.

Captain Neumann appeared to have taken a big gamble in sending out five of her team’s six rookies at a time when the Americans were looking to wrest the initiative from their opponents.

But they stood up to the pressure admirably, none more so than English duo Ewart Shadoff and Hull, who won perhaps the pick of the matches against Creamer and Lexi Thompson.

In a high-quality encounter which saw birdies from one or other of the pairs on 13 of the 18 holes, Ewart Shadoff and Hull picked up shots on the last two holes for a two-up victory.

Ewart Shadoff said: “It was pretty epic. Both teams played really well, birdieing nearly every hole.

“It was a great match to be a part of and it’s nice to finally get a point on the board for Europe.”