Golf: Matt vows to defend his historic crown

Matthew Fitzpatrick with the Havemayer Trophy after winning the US Amateur Championship last year. (AP Photo/Gretchen Ertl)
Matthew Fitzpatrick with the Havemayer Trophy after winning the US Amateur Championship last year. (AP Photo/Gretchen Ertl)
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Matt Fitzpatrick says he has no thoughts of relinquishing the US Amateur Championship trophy despite leaving university in America.

Last year the 19-year-old from Sheffield was the first Englishman to win the title since 1911. He said: “I definitely want to defend my title this year. I haven’t even thought about turning professional unless something crazy happens this season.”

Fitzpatrick, who is based at Hallamshire Golf Club, had been on a golf scholarship at Northwestern University in Chicago.

However, he’s decided to focus on golf this year rather than combining his studies with playing. Fitzpatrick is expected to play in three of golf’s four major championships because of his success in 2013 at the US Amateur and The Open championships. He also ended the year as the World’s No 1 ranked amateur player.

He said: “I want to be at my very best this year. It was a difficult decision to make but one that I thought about for a long time.

“I felt it was best to concentrate entirely on my golf so I can be as good as I could possibly be.”

Fitzpatrick is almost certain to receive an invitation to the Arnold Palmer Classic, in Orlando, Florida (March 20-23), which takes place three weeks before the Masters at Augusta, Georgia (April 10-13).

He’ll also play in June’s US Open at Pinehurst No 2 in North Carolina and The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in July.