Alex Fitzpatrick followed in the footsteps of his brother Matt when he was the leading points scorer for Great Britain and Ireland in last week’s Jacques Leglise Trophy at Prince’s and the 17-year-old doesn’t want the journey stop there.
Fitzpatrick, who also recently featured in the England team that defeated Scotland to win the Boys Home Internationals at Ballyliffin in Ireland, knows the bar has been set high after his elder sibling finished fifth in the D+D REAL Czech Masters, securing him an automatic spot in Europe’s team for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine next month.
However, the Hallamshire Golf Club member has made progress on the amateur circuit this season after a runner-up spot in the Italian U16 International Championship two years ago, and this season finishing 10th in the England Boys Order of Merit and recording top five finishes in both the Carris Trophy and McGregor Trophy.
As well as the Boys Home Internationals, he was also selected by England to compete in the prestigious Thunderbird International in the United States, before receiving his first Great Britain and Ireland call-up from Peter McEvoy OBE, Chairman of The R&A Boys Selectors, to play The Continent of Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
“I’m very proud to have been selected for Great Britain and Ireland for the Jacques Leglise”, said Fitzpatrick.
“My aim this year was to get selected for the Boys Home Internationals. I’ve been playing good all year really, gradually getting better and improving throughout that time, but to get selected for this just blew my mind. What a fantastic experience, it’s just been phenomenal. I’m very pleased to be the leading points scorer, it meant a lot.
“I’ve set my ambitions high over the next few years and I would love to try and make the Walker Cup next year and that’s the next level I guess. For me, I need to continue improving, work on my short game, put in a lot of hard work and see what happens. I’d like to show I’m worthy of playing against the top players in the Walker Cup and I’d like to follow in Matt’s footsteps.”
Matt’s rapid rise in the professional ranks came as little surprise after a stellar amateur career, winning the Boys Amateur Championship at Notts Golf Club in 2012, before becoming the first English player since 1911 to be crowned US Amateur Champion when he defeated Australian Oliver Goss in the final at Brookline the following year.
In the same season, he won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur at The 143rd Open at Royal Liverpool, was the highest points scorer when he played for Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup, and was confirmed at the leading player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ receiving the Mark H. McCormack Medal.
After qualifying for the European Tour in 2014, the 21-year-old from Sheffield finished runner-up behind Masters Champion Danny Willett in the Omega European Masters and won his maiden Tour title in front of a home crowd at the British Masters at Woburn in 2015. This year, he landed the Nordea Masters in Sweden and finished tied for seventh at the Masters.
“I sent him a text to say ‘well done’ before he holed the putt to make the Ryder Cup because I knew he was good enough to get in and make it. I’m a very proud brother, he’s done great.
“He’s really supportive, although lot of his advice is ‘hole more six foot putts’!”, joked Fitzpatrick. “But no, it’s keep on practicing, keep doing the drills and keep working hard.”