PINEHURST, North Carolina (June 15, 2014) -- As Matthew Fitzpatrick prepares to embark on a professional career after finishing low am at the US Open, the 19-year-old Englishman would be wise to heed the advice of Justin Rose.
If you've followed Justin Rose's career, you know that after his first glimpse of fame as the low amateur at the British Open, he turned pro and missed 21 straight cuts. That would have been the end of most player's careers, but we now know that Justin Rose isn't just any player.
His advice to Fitzpatrick -- who finished strong at Pinehurst with a final round 69 -- should be listened to by any amateur thinking about making the jump.
“I don’t think you are ever 100 per cent ready to turn pro," Rose said, "because at the end of the day it is a process to get better year-on-year for the next 20 years.”
Rose went on to advise Fitzpatrick to not pay too much attention to the holy grail of getting a Tour card on either side of the pond.
“It is very easy to get distracted by thinking ‘I need a European Tour card or a PGA Tour card’ but that will all happen in due course. You have to focus on yourself as a player and focus on your improvement and getting 100 per cent out of what you have got.”
For the time being, Fitzpatrick should be able to reflect on his recent accomplishments with a great deal of confidence. After a tough Saturday round in which he shot 78 with two doubles and six bogeys, he came back Sunday and made four birdies to shoot 69, one of the best scores of the day. After seemingly following in Luke Donald's footsteps by enrolling at Chicago's Northwestern University last fall, he is now more closely following in Rose's footsteps and AmateurGolf.com wishes him the best.
Fitzpatrick not only leaves Pinehurst as the low amateur; he is also the reigning US Amateur champion, and the top ranked player in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com player rankings.He will make his pro debut at next week's Irish Open.