Aug 17, 2013
BROOKLINE, Mass. -- With an 18-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole Saturday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., Northwestern freshman Matt Fitzpatrick (Sheffield, England/Tapton) defeated Canadian Corey Conners, 2 and 1, to advance to the final match of the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championship.
"I am very happy, as you can probably imagine," said Fitzpatrick, who is No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. "I am very pleased with the achievement, really. It's just a nice feeling to have."
Fitzpatrick is the second Wildcat to reach the championship of the U.S. Amateur in the last eight years, joining Dillon Dougherty who fell 4 and 3 to Edoardo Molinari in 2005. The young Englishman will face Australian Oliver Goss (no relation to NU head coach Pat Goss, probably) in Sunday's 36-hole title tilt in an attempt to become the first player from England to win the U.S. Amateur crown since 1911. The action begins at 8 a.m. CT with the day's conclusion broadcast live on NBC from 3-5 p.m. CT.
By reaching the U.S. Amateur Championship final, Fitzpatrick has earned an exemption into the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and a likely invitation to next year's Masters Tournament. The champion receives an exemption into the 2014 British Open -- Fitzpatrick was the low amateur at the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield after making the field through local qualifying.
Fitzpatrick struggled early in Saturday's semifinal against Conners, needing his exceptional short game to battle back from an early two hole deficit. He drained a 35-foot birdie putt at No. 6, a 30-foot par save to halve the seventh and then chipped in from behind the green on No. 8 to square the match.
"I wasn't trying to hole it out," said Fitzpatrick, about his birdie chip on the par-4 eighth. "I was just trying to get it dead weight, almost as if I was sort of imagining as if I was on the green what pace would I be putting on it to putt."
From there, Fitzpatrick never looked back, pushing his advantage to 2-up after 13 holes and then holding off a late Conners win at No. 16 with his clutch birdie putt at the 17th.
Fitzpatrick won all four of his previous matches at the U.S. Amateur by 4 and 3 counts, making his birdie on 17 the first time he had played the hole since the second round of stroke play on Tuesday.
Before focusing on Sunday's finale, Fitzpatrick will throw out the first pitch Saturday night at Fenway Park.
Information from USGA.org was used in this release.
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