Fitzpatrick and Taylor end season on a high
Despite being pre-occupied with exams, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire, Yorkshire) won the annual Daily Telegraph Junior Championship by a street at an autumnal Close House in Northumberland.
In the girls’ tournament, English girls' champion Emily Taylor (Hillside, Lancashire) came out on top after leading throughout the three rounds.
Fitzpatrick, the British Boys champion, came into the event unsure about his form because of his A Levels studies. But after opening with 73 to be two strokes off the lead, shared by Joe Brooks (Brickendon Grange, Hertfordshire) and Scotland’s Craig Howie, he responded with a three-under-par 68, the lowest round of the week, to take a three strokes advantage into the final round.
Despite dipping temperatures and drizzly conditions, the 18 year old returned a best-of-the-day 74 for a closing aggregate of 215, two over par, seven strokes ahead of Brooks with Bobby Keeble (Abridge, Essex), two shots further back in third.
“I don’t have any more tournaments until well into next year so I’m thrilled,” said Fitzpatrick. “This is a perfect ending to the year, but it’s back to school for me on Friday.”
Taylor, also 18, who led after an opening 73, and shared top spot with Samantha Giles (St Mellion, Cornwall) after round two, closed with 74 for 222, nine over par, and three strokes clear of Giles with Annabel Dimmock (Wentworth, Surrey) third on 228.
“I’ve never been in that position before,” said Taylor. “I am the one who is always chasing, rather than being chased. I haven’t been hitting the ball well this week so I just started to grind out the putts.”
Leading final scores:
215 M Fitzpatrick 73 68 74
222 J Brooks 71 73 78
224 B Keeble 73 76 75
225 C Howie 71 74 80
222 E Taylor 73 75 74
225 S Giles 75 73 77
228 A Dimmock 78 73 77
229 G Cowley 74 76 79