Strong start to US Open for ‘sporting’ Fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick
Matt Fitzpatrick
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Sheffield’s Matt Fitzpatrick has made a strong start to the US Open, finishing his first round at one over par.

Fitzpatrick picked up plenty of plaudits for his iron play in his opening round but more so for a superb act of sportsmanship on the penultimate hole.

The 19-year-old called a penalty on himself for causing his ball to move, with the result seeing him move over par for the first time on the day,

The Hallamshire Golf Club member will turn pro following the competition and got his final tournament as an amateur off to a great start by immediately picking up a birdie as he teed off on the par five tenth.

Fitzpatrick – playing alongside defending champion Justin Rose and six-time runner up Phil Mickelson – would also birdie the 12th but back-to-back bogies on 14 and 15 took him back to level par.

He moved back under par with a three on the par four 16th and went two under once again after a birdie on the second, early into his back nine.

Back-to-back bogies would again cost the 19-year-old, taking him back to level par with three to play.

He penalty call ensured he went over par on the penultimate hole but he was not fazed and parred the par three ninth to finish +1 for the day.

At the close of his round, Fitzpatrick was three behind clubhouse leaders Graeme McDowell and Kevin Na.

Fitzpatrick’s fellow Sheffield golfer Danny Willett will be among the last to tee off when he gets his round underway at around 7.20pm (GMT).