July 21, 2013
GULLANE, Scotland -- Northwestern freshman Matt Fitzpatrick (Sheffield, England/Tapton) won the prestigious Silver Medal at the 142nd British Open Sunday at Muirfield, firing a final round 1-over 72 to finish as low amateur with a total of 10-over par 294.
Fitzpatrick, who signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Northwestern in November 2012, is the 41st different golfer to win the Silver Medal, which has been awarded since 1949. On 19 occasions, including last year, no amateur made the cut and the medal was not awarded.
Previous winners of the Silver Medal include eventual Major champions Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Hal Sutton and Jose Maria Olazabal.
After the round, Fitzpatrick addressed his coming matriculation to Evanston to attend the alma mater of fellow Englishman and former World No. 1 Luke Donald. "Going to university is a big thing," he said. "Mum and Dad made sure education came first so I have something to fall back on if the golf doesn't work out. Northwestern is a great academic school. It's 19th in the world or something so that should hold me in good stead."
Paired with Fred Couples and owning a two-stroke lead over Jimmy Mullen -- the only other amateur to make the cut -- entering Sunday, Fitzpatrick played an even-par front nine including his third birdie of the week at the par-5 ninth hole. Sitting at 1-over on the day and 10-over for the tournament after 16, Fitzpatrick finished par-par on the 17th and 18th holes, a stretch he played in a combined 6-over during the first three rounds.
"A big cheer for Matt Fitzpatrick after he pars the last & wins the Silver Medal," tweeted the Open Championship official feed, @The_Open.
Mullen finished five shots back of Fitzpatrick Sunday at 15-over 299.
"It has been a great few days and something I will never forget," Fitzpatrick said. "It's not every day that I get to play with Fred Couples like I did today and it taught me a lot."
By virtue of his No. 9 position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Fitzpatrick is exempt into the U.S. Amateur August 12-18 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., where he will compete alongside future NU teammate Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara), a 2013 All-American. Perry won medalist honors at the San Diego qualifier last week to earn his berth.
Prior to that, Fitzpatrick will tee it up in the English Men's Amateur Championship July 29-August 3 at Frilford Heath Golf Club.
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