England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick produced a magnificent display of controlled golf to defeat Welshman Henry James by 10&8 in the 36-hole final of the 86th Boys Amateur Championship at Notts (Hollinwell) Golf Club.
The 17-year-old English boys international from Hallamshire Golf Club in Sheffield was an approximate six under par and found himself nine up at the half way stage. He then played the next 10 holes in one under par to complete what was the most lop-sided final since TR Shannon defeated Sandy Lyle by 10&9 at Royal Liverpool in 1974.
Fitzpatrick was in incredible form as he raced into a six hole lead after the first nine holes of the opening round. He birdied the 3rd, 4th and 9th to assume total control and then went further ahead with a fourth birdie of the day on the 414-yard par-4 10th.
The Hallamshire youngster, who plays off a handicap of +4, dropped his only shot of the morning when both players carded bogeys on the 474-yard par-4 12th but then forged into a nine shot lead with further birdies on the 382-yard par-4 14th, the 309-yard par-4 16th and the 557-yard par-5 17th.
After lunch Fitzpatrick never quite reached the same heights and James briefly got one hole back with an eagle on the 547-yard par-5 3rd but any thoughts the
Welshman might have harboured about mounting a comeback were shattered when he promptly lost the 454-yard par-4 4th to a par.
Fitzpatrick who played for the victorious English Boys team at last week’s Boys Home Internationals, recorded his eighth birdie of the day when he holed out from 12-feet to win the 582-yard par-5 6th, he then lost the 404-yard par-4 7th when he failed to get up-and-down from short of the green, eventually sealing the biggest win of his career with a fine short iron into 10-feet to secure a birdie on the10th.
“Today was the best I have hit the ball all week,” confirmed Fitzpatrick who won the North of England Under-16 title in 2010 and started this season with a victory in the Selbourne Salver.
“I felt in total control this morning but I have to admit I felt a little bit apprehensive after lunch.
“I was so far in front that I think I might have started off a bit too defensively but once I got to 10 up on the 6th I settled down and played some pretty good golf after that.
“I must admit I feel a bit for Henry,” he added. “He just couldn’t get the ball in the hole and that’s always what makes the difference in matches like these.”
“It was one of those days” admitted the defeated Welsh Junior champion from Kidderminster. “In the earlier rounds I holed a lot of putts but they completely dried up today.
“This afternoon I had good chances on the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th but missed them all and that was just about that.
“Tee to green I was all right but that’s never going to be enough to get you a win at this sort of level,” he added.
Fitzpatrick became the third English golfer to claim the Boys Amateur title in four years following on from Tom Lewis at Royal St George’s in 2009 and Harrison Greenberry at Burham & Berrow 12 months ago.
The 2013 Boys Amateur Championship will take place at Royal Liverpool & Wallasey golf clubs on the 13-18 August.