Golf column: Another new star with a name you know already

Alex and Matt Fitzpatrick
Alex and Matt Fitzpatrick
0
Have your say

You might think the younger brother of Sheffield’s latest golfing star Matt Fitzpatrick has a tough act to follow.

But anybody who knows him will confirm that 15 year old Tapton schoolboy Alex Fitzpatrick has a real talent of his own.

With a handicap of 0.5 he has already made a name for himself in golfing circles and if he continues to progress at his current rapid rate then who knows where the game will take him.

People often ask if Alex is as good at golf as his elder sibling yet comparisons are difficult. Their father Russell is probably the best to judge.

“They are very different personalities. Alex is more of a character and I would say he has a real natural ability and is more powerful. He is four years younger than his brother but is as long off the tee. Matt works very hard on his game and has more of an inwardly confidence of his ability which has paid dividends for him.

“He is also very straight while Alex can hit the occasional loose one off the tee. Alex needs to narrow his driver dispersal rate.”

Alex started swing plastic golf clubs when he was two years old and by the age of eight followed the family tradition joining Hallamshire Golf Club where he spent all his spare time teaching himself to putt and chip.

He is a natural all-round sportsman - good at tennis, badminton, football and became the Yorkshire Schoolboys javelin champion with virtually his first ever throw.

At 13 his talents at golf were being seen in competitive events. Playing off two he won the Yorkshire boys under 16 championship at Wetherby and was being selected for the Yorkshire team squads. Last season he was the Yorkshire boys under 14 winner and runner up in the Douglas Johns Trophy which is regarded by many as the unofficial British Boys Championship for under 15s.

As a result he was invited by England to play in the under 16 Championships in Italy. This year his progress is continuing - Alex has been his handicap tumble in six weeks from 2.6 to 0.5 in part thanks to three rounds of three under par 68s at his home club where last week he won the Hallamshire Junior Cup by 10 shots with rounds of 68 and 71. Today he was back at Harewood Downs for the 2014 Douglas John Trophy.

So where will golf take him? Naturally he would love to follow in the footsteps of his brother but the last word goes to his father. “He’s got to concentrate on his GCSEs and then we’ll see!”

Matt started life on the Challenge Tour at Le Vaudreuil, France, in tied 8th spot with a total of 10 under par 6 shots behind the winner Andrew Johnston.This weekend the Hallamshire teenager was due to play on the Challenge Tour’s first event in Azerbaijan.