Fitzpatrick turning pro next month

Matthew Fitzpatrick of Sheffield, England, the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world behind Patrick Rodgers of Stanford, has announced that he will turn pro after he plays in the U.S. Open next month at Pinehurst.

The 19-year-old reigning United States Amateur champion will make his pro debut in the Irish Open at Fota Island Resort on June 19-22 and play mostly on the European Tour, for now.

Fitzpatrick signed with International Sports Management and agent Chubby Chandler, whose clients have included Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell.

“I chose ISM because I was impressed with how much they wanted to manage me,” said Fitzpatrick, who attended Northwestern last fall but left after the first semester to concentrate on golf full-time.

“I had options, but eventually it came down to ISM. They have a proven track record of guiding the careers of young golfers and molding major champions. I am in good hands.”

Fitzpatrick won the 2012 British Boys Championship, earned low-amateur honors at the 2013 British Open and became the first Englishman since Harold Hilton in 1911 to capture the U.S. Amateur.

Last summer, he was the leading points-earner for Great Britain and Ireland in the Team GB&I at the Walker Cup.

“To win the silver medal at the Open and win the U.S. Amateur on two different courses proves he’s pretty mature for his age,” Chandler said. “He’s not got the biggest game, but he’s certainly got a very mature game for 19. Tidy is a great word to describe him.

“Certain courses will suit him and certain ones won’t. We made a conscious decision not to go over to the United States, because there are quite a few bombers’ courses and he’s not suited to that.

” … He’s not one-dimensional and when he grows a bit and gets stronger they will all suit him. But we need to pinpoint courses that suit him now.”

By winning the U.S. Amateur, Fitzpatrick earned exemptions into the first three majors of the year. He missed the cut at the Masters, but finished 23rd the following week at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town.

Because he is turning pro, Fitzpatrick is no longer exempt into the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

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