Back to earth for teenage prospect Matt

Sheffield's Matthew Fitzpatrick
Sheffield's Matthew Fitzpatrick

Sheffield teenager Matthew Fitzpatrick expects to be back on baby-sitting duty soon despite securing the Silver Medal as top amateur at the Open Championship.

The 18-year-old from Hallamshire GC shot a final-round 72 at Muirfield to finish on 10-over-par 294, five strokes better than the other remaining amateur in the field, fellow youngster Jimmy Mullen. It was an impressive performance by last year’s Boys Amateur champion, who sat his A-Levels earlier this summer, but he has no immediate thoughts of joining the professional ranks.

His plans revolve around starting university in America this autumn - he has secured a place at Luke Donald’s alma mater Northwestern in Chicago - and admits the odd jobs may have to continue for now.

Fitzpatrick baby-sits for some of his clubmates and when asked if that would now end, he said: “I could do with the money, because I don’t really have a job other than this. Going to university is the big thing, and mum and dad make sure education comes first. So I’ll make sure I do my four years at Northwestern and get a good degree, hopefully, something to fall back on if the golf doesn’t work out. I’m not going to turn pro anytime soon.”

He added that he did not yet know what he wanted to study.

Fitzpatrick was mistaken for Tiger Woods’ practice range ball-carrier earlier in the week but he was more recognisable as he came down the 18th to generous applause.

Having hit the green, from where he would make a par four, he knew by then the Silver Medal was his.

“Going around, there was no one sort of telling me where I was at until 17,” said Fitzpatrick. “My dad was at the side of the fairway going like that (holding up four fingers). “I didn’t quite know what he meant, and I then I put two and two together, and got four. That was when I had in mind of where he was.”