EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 19, 2013

England's Fitzpatrick wins US Amateur

JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — BROOKLINE — One hundred years after British superstars Harry Vardon and Ted Ray stopped at The Country Club on their unsuccessful victory tour, Matt Fitzpatrick finished the job.

Fitzpatrick won the U.S. Amateur yesterday, beating Australian Oliver Goss 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final to become the event’s first English champion since 1911. The 18-year-old soon-to-be Northwestern freshman is the first foreigner to win any major USGA event at The Country Club, a streak that grew into a legend when Francis Ouimet beat Vardon and Ray here in the 1913 U.S. Open.

“It’s fantastic and it’s nice to be the first (in) a while,” Fitzpatrick said. “I guess it’s great to go down in history. That’s sort of what everyone wants in golf, wants to achieve. ... It’s just fantastic, and I feel great.”

Fitzpatrick never trailed in the final match, taking the lead for good on the second hole of the afternoon round — the 20th of the day — and going 2 up one hole later. Goss cut it to one on No. 9, but fell behind two again on the 10th hole when he lipped out on a 4-foot putt.

Fitzpatrick went 3 up on the 14th hole and then on No. 15, where he had won four of his previous five matches, he was short of the green and Goss was off the back.

Goss’ chip missed the hole by about 6 inches and rolled 3 feet past, while. Fitzpatrick two-putted from the closely mown area leading up to the green, hitting his second from less than 6 feet. When Goss missed his par putt, the two shook hands and Fitzpatrick hugged his brother, Alex, who was caddying for him.

“It was nice to win 4 and 3 again today,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s kind of a strange thing. I did have a feeling that I could close it out.”

Fitzpatrick, who was the low amateur last month in the British Open, got a gold medal for his victory along with exemptions into the 2014 U.S. and British Opens — where he will be paired with defending champions Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose — and a likely invitation to the Masters. His name will be inscribed on the Havemeyer Trophy alongside five-time winner Bobby Jones, three-time winner Tiger Woods and two-time winners Jack Nicklaus and Ouimet.

It’s the first time Englishmen have won the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in the same calendar year.