Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick announced on Thursday that he is leaving Northwestern University to pursue his amateur golf career full-time at home in England. Fitzpatrick spent one semester at the Big Ten school.
“I very much enjoyed my experience at Northwestern,” Fitzpatrick said in a news release on the Northwestern website. “The people, the school and the great city of Chicago all exceeded my expectations. I want to thank [head coach] Pat [Goss], [assistant coach] David [Inglis] and my teammates for everything they did for me.
“Based on the opportunities I have right now from a golf perspective, I feel it is important to dedicate 100 percent of my time to the game and have decided to withdraw from university in the U.S.”
Fitzpatrick, 19, entered Northwestern as the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). In August, he defeated Oliver Goss, of Australia, 4 and 3, in the 36-hole U.S. Amateur final at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., becoming the first Englishman in 102 years to hoist the Havemayer Trophy.
The victory earned Fitzpatrick exemptions into the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club and the British Open at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake), as well as an invitation to the 2014 Masters Tournament. He also earned the 2013 Mark H. McCormack Medal for being No. 1 in the WAGR at the completion of the U.S. Amateur.
His 2013 season also included being the low amateur at the British Open at Muirfield and representing Great Britain and Ireland at the Walker Cup Match at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., where despite the 17-9 defeat by the USA, he posted a 3-1-0 overall record.
In 2012, Fitzpatrick claimed the British Boys Championship.
During the fall season, Fitzpatrick ranked second on the Northwestern team with a 71.63 stroke average, compiling three top-20 and two top-10 finishes in five events.
“Matt is a bright and talented young man who has an incredible future ahead of him in the game of golf,” said Goss, who also coached two-time GB&I Walker Cup Team member and former world No. 1 player Luke Donald at Northwestern. “We wish him nothing but the best in his career.”
Information from Northwestern University was used in this story.