Open silver medalist Fitzpatrick focuses on English crown

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire, Yorkshire), winner of the silver medal as the leading amateur at The Open Championship at Muirfield on Sunday, will attempt to become English Amateur champion when he competes at Frilford Heath, near Abingdon, on 29th July – 3rd August.

The Sheffield lad will be joined by fellow teenager Jimmy Mullen (Royal North Devon), who also played all four rounds at Muirfield, in England Golf’s blue riband event over the Red and Blue Courses at the prestigious Oxfordshire venue.

Fitzpatrick, 18, (image © Leaderboard Photography) is off to the Northwestern University in Chicago, a college attended by Luke Donald, in September and would love to go there as the English champion, having won the British Boys Championship at Hollinwell last year.

Mullen, 19, has also been hitting the headlines recently. The Open apart, he finished joint third in last month’s Brabazon Trophy at Formby, holing-in-one during his final round of 71.

The first two days at Frilford Heath are confined to qualifying rounds with all 288 players completing one round over each course at the end of which the leading 64 progress to the match play knockout stage over the Red.

On day one, Fitzpatrick starts his bid from the first tee of the Blue Course at 12.50pm, while Mullen starts an hour later from the tenth tee of the Red.

Harry Ellis (Meon Valley, Hampshire, IoW & CI), who became the youngest winner of the title aged 16 at Silloth-on-Solway a year ago, is having a successful year. He won the Hampshire Junior Championship and was top individual in the South East Boys Qualifying, finished runner-up in the Hampshire Hog and the Michel Carlhian Trophy in France and became a boy cap in the European Boys Team Championships in Scotland recently.

He begins his defence from the tenth on the Blue at 1.30pm, while Seb Crookall-Nixon (Workington, Cumbria), twice a winner of the English under 16 Championship and now at college in America, is off first at 8am from the tenth tee on the Blue.

There are a number of other internationals in the star-studded field, including five members of England’s European Team Championship-wiining squad in Denmark earlier this month.

Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire, IoW & CI), twice an English Amateur quarter finalist, sets off last at 2.20pm from the first on the Blue, Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire) is off first from the tenth of the Red at 8am, while Callum Shinkwin (Moor Park, Hertfordshire), the South American Amateur champion, start from the tenth on the Red along with fellow international Jamie Rutherford (Knebworth, Hertfordshire) at 9.50am.

Max Orrin (North Foreland, Kent), another of the Euro title-winning squad, is off the first of the Blue at 8am along with former Mid Amateur champion Martin Young (Brokenhurst Manor, Hampshire, IoW & CI), while English boy champion Patrick Kelly (Boston West, Lincolnshire) starts from the first on the Blue at 1.20pm along with former under 16 champion Jack Hermeston (City of Newcastle, Northumberland).

The Championship starts at 8am on Monday 29th July and culminates with the 36-hole final on Saturday 3rd August.