The 27-year-old became just the sixth British winner of golf’s US Open at Brookline, Massachusetts, on Sunday night – his first major, 10 years after he won the US Amateur title at the same venue.
Today, his former history teacher paid tribute to him and revealed the parting gifts he handed teachers when he left the Crosspool school after completing his exams as a teenager – which staff kept because they realised he was going to be a star.
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Karkiran Grewal, who is now deputy headteacher at Tapton, said: “I was Matt’s history teacher for three years. Seeing the pictures of him with his trophy just reminds me of the smile I used to see in history lessons.
“Matt was always incredibly resilient, and had a great work ethic – he was always really positive and incredibly hard working. He was also always happy to listen to feedback and do what needed to be done.
Signed golf ball
“I think most of the teachers who he taught have a golf ball that he signed and gave us – there are many of us who have those. Mine has pride of place in my office today.
“Lots of us now have those little signed golf balls. He dropped them off as he went round saying goodbye – and we 100 per cent expected those to be important in the future.”
“I even volunteered to caddy for him on many occasions. Everyone knew it was his destiny to be a great golfer.”
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She added: “It was also lovely to see his family in the pictures, because his mum, his dad and his bother were always incredibly supportive of him.
“It has been the talk of the school today, and he was mentioned in staff briefing – but everyone one already knew he’d won.”
Matt Fitzpatrick ‘second favourite’ for BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Meanwhile, Matt has made a significant move up the betting to be crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 2022.
After becoming just the third Englishman to win the US Open in the last 52 years. he is also being backed for another coveted accolade after the odds to just 7/1 from 80/1 with BoyleSports to walk off with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in December. That makes him the joint second favourite to get his hands on the famous trophy alongside England captain Harry Kane.
Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the 5/2 favourite for the award after he matched Stephen Hendry’s haul of seven world snooker titles in Fitzpatrick’s home town of Sheffield in May.
Lawrence Lyons, spokesperson for BoyleSports said: “Matt Fitzpatrick ‘s win at the US Open is one of the sporting highlights of the year so far and he’s clearly a popular guy to boot. Punters were quick to identify him as a perfect candidate for the Sports Personality gong as quotes of 80/1 were snapped up on Sunday and the steady support since puts him right in the mix.”