GULLANE, Scotland (July 19, 2013) -- Devon’s Jimmy Mullen and Matt Fitzpatrick, the reigning British Boys’ champion from Hallamshire Golf Club in Sheffield, will contest the race to win this year’s Silver Medal, awarded to the leading amateur who plays all four rounds in The Open Championship.
19 year-old Mullen, who plays out of Royal North Devon, and 18 year-old Fitzpatrick, the youngest competitor at Muirfield, go into the weekend tied on seven over par 149, after Fitzpatrick dropped three shots over the last three holes to post a second round 76 and Mullen birdied the last for a battling 78.
The two English teenagers are the only two amateurs left in the race to win the Silver Medal after their five other rivals, Grant Forrest, Ben Stow, Garrick Porteous, Steven Fox and Rhys Pugh, all failed to survive the cut.
The biggest collapse of the day came from Craigielaw’s Forrest who had carded a creditable 73 to share 47th place with Fitzpatrick after the opening round but ballooned to a 15-over par 86 in the second round to finish on 17-over par 159.
“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” said Forrest, who will seek to defend his Scottish Amateur title at Blairgowrie later this month.
“It was just a really tough day. For some reason, I was more nervous on the first tee today as I still had a chance of making the cut. It didn’t turn out that way, but it was still a great experience to play in my first Open.”
Elsewhere, English international, Stow, finished on 11 over par 153 after rounds of 76 and 77 but refused to be deflated by his failure to play on the weekend. “It’s been an amazing experience, sometimes a little frustrating, but absolutely incredible. I have enjoyed every minute of it, I can honestly say that,” he said.
“I’ve got five or six days off and then it’s the English Amateur,” he added. “I said to my caddie, Fred, walking down 18, that we should come back (to Muirfield) at the weekend and have a look around. I’d like to watch Lee (Westwood) play and we’ll chill out a bit.”
British Amateur champion, Porteous, added a 76 to add his opening 77 to finish on 11 over par 153 while his US counterpart, Fox was four shots further back on 157 in an illustrious group that also included Brian Davis, three-time Open champion Sir Nick Faldo and 2013 BMW PGA champion, Matteo Manassero.
Welsh Walker Cup player, Rhys Pugh, improved on his opening 84 by seven shots but that still left the 2012 European Amateur Champion near the bottom of the field on 19-over par 161.
The Silver Medal is one of the most prestigious prizes in world amateur golf and has been won in the past by the likes of Frank Stranahan, Joe Carr, Guy Wolstenholme, Charlie Green, Ronnie Shade, Michael Bonallack, Peter McEvoy, Jay Sigel, Hal Sutton, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Steve Webster, Tiger Woods, Barclay Howard, Justin Rose, Stuart Wilson, Lloyd Saltman, Rory McIlroy, Chris Wood, Matteo Manassero and Tom Lewis.