July 19, 2013
GULLANE, Scotland -- Incoming Northwestern freshman Matt Fitzpatrick (Sheffield, England/Tapton) is one of two amateurs to make the cut at the 2013 British Open at Muirfield and will play the weekend after finishing Friday in a tie for 58th place at 7-over 149.
Fitzpatrick, who signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Northwestern in November 2012, was among the early leaders at The Open on Thursday after making the turn in 2-under 34. He was even par for the opening round entering the difficult 18th, where he made double bogey for a first-round 2-over 73.
In tougher conditions Friday with the wind swung around from the east -- a direction many of the players had not yet seen at Muirfield -- Fitzpatrick fought his way to 2-over par for his round and 4-over for the tournament entering the par-5 17th. There he made a double bogey before a bogey finish at the 18th led to a 5-over 76 that put him outside the cut line at the time his final putt dropped.
Fitzpatrick's fight was plenty to earn a Saturday tee time, though, when Muirfield's bite continued to prove ferocious as the day wore on. The eventual cut line would settle at 8-over par, placing Fitzpatrick inside the number with a stroke to spare.
"Thanks to @russhenleygolf & @JordanSpieth!!," Fitzpatrick tweeted after Friday's action, referring to his PGA TOUR playing partners Russell Henley and Jordan Spieth. "Great 2 days with you guys and could not be better guys to play with!" All three players in the group made the 36-hole cut.
Fitzpatrick, one of three Wildcats since 2006 to compete in a Major Championship while on NU's active roster, bettered then-junior Eric Chun's showing at the 2011 British Open at St. Andrews where the current Japan Tour player went 71-76 to miss the cut by a single stroke.
Fitzpatrick is one of four amateurs currently on a college roster for the 2013-14 season to make the cut at a Major Championship in 2013. He joins Michael Kim and Michael Weaver of California and Cheng-Tsung Pan of Washington, all of whom made the cut at the U.S. Open.
In the fall, Fitzpatrick, the world's No. 9 ranked amateur player and winner of the prestigious 2012 British Boys Amateur championship, will join a powerful Northwestern lineup headlined by returning All-American Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara), who will compete in the U.S. Amateur next month after earning medalist honors at the qualifier in San Diego last week.
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