Matthew Fitzpatrick has spoken of his delight after receiving the Mark H McCormack Medal as the leading men’s player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) for the year.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding season, winning the Silver Medal as the leading amateur in The Open Championship at Muirfield and becoming the first English player to win the U.S. Amateur Championship since 1911 before representing Great Britain and Ireland in the 44th Walker Cup match.
Fitzpatrick, who is from Hallamshire Golf Club in Sheffield, England, was presented with the medal by Professor Wilson Sibbett, the Chairman of The R&A, and Glen Nager, the President of the USGA, at the recent Walker Cup match at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York.
“I am delighted to win the McCormack Medal,” he said. “It is an honour to win such a prestigious medal and to follow in the footsteps of some great players who have won it in previous years.
“It has been a wonderful season for me after winning the Silver Medal at The Open, winning the U.S. Amateur Championship and playing in the Walker Cup. I am really pleased to have played so well throughout the year.”
Fitzpatrick came through Local Final Qualifying at Gullane to secure his place in The Open at Muirfield. After finishing tied 44th, with a total of 294, he won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur.
In August he won the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, becoming the first Englishman to do so since Harold Hilton in 1911. At the Walker Cup he finished as the leading points scorer on the GB&I team with three points out of four. The 2012 Boys Amateur Champion also reached the final of this year’s English Amateur Championship where he lost by 4&3 to Callum Shinkwin.
Fitzpatrick, who started his studies at Northwestern University in Chicago this month, has, by virtue of winning the McCormack Medal, secured his place in the field for next year’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) and the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Professor Sibbett said, “Matthew has had an outstanding year and he is a worthy winner of the McCormack Medal. The World Amateur Golf Ranking reflects the strength of the amateur game around the world and it is exceptional to finish top of these rankings. As well as playing extremely well, Matthew has shown admirable maturity and composure and it is clear that he has a very bright future.”
Mr Nager added, “The USGA congratulates Matthew on winning the Mark McCormack Medal. His performances at this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship and Walker Cup match were truly exceptional; both in terms of his play and in the manner with which he conducted himself as champion and teammate. Matthew has endeared himself to the American golf audience, and we look forward to following both his collegiate career at Northwestern and his participation in the 2014 U.S. Open Championship.”
Todd McCormack, speaking on behalf of the McCormack family, said, “I would like to congratulate Matthew on winning the medal. He has played some wonderful golf this year and is undoubtedly a deserving winner. He has shown all the hallmarks of a great player in the making and I was very impressed with his play when I saw him at the U.S Amateur. I wish him all the best with his university studies and his future career in golf.”
The World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The Men’s WAGR encompasses more than 2,900 counting events, ranking more than 6,500 players representing 100 countries worldwide. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of over 2,000 counting events with more than 3,600 ranked players representing 88 countries worldwide.