Callum produces goods to deny Fitzpatrick at Frilford Heath
CALLUM SHINKWIN denied Matt Fitzpatrick another huge win when he claimed the English Amateur Championship supported by abacus at Frilford Heath.
Shinkwin produced some of his best form to wrap-up a 4&3 win over Hallamshire star Fitzpatrick in the 36-hole final and, in doing so, became the first Hertfordshire golfer to win the title since Sir Nick Faldo in 1975.
“This means a lot. My name is there alongside some famous ones,” said Shinkwin. “I was disappointed last year not to qualify and I lost in the semis two years ago, so this makes up for it.
“Despite being three-up at lunch, I couldn’t afford to relax because I knew Matt would come out hard in the afternoon. I played at Walton Heath recently and the course didn’t really suit me.
“But here, after we had the rain, the greens were more receptive which meant I could fire into them and I holed putts when I needed to. I knew once I got through the first round of qualifying, when I had three shanks in a 71, I’d be okay but matchplay is anyone’s game.”
Fitzpatrick had stormed his way into the final with some large wins but he took his defeat on the chin. “Worse things happens,” he said. “I didn’t play as well today as in previous rounds and I didn’t putt as well. But the putter was cold.
“It’s hard to take but I’ve had a fantastic week. I didn’t get any momentum going today. If I could have, it might have been different. But I’m not taking anything away from Callum. He played better.”
Shinkwin laid the foundations for his victory in the morning when he went round in 68 to be three-up at lunch.
That put the Hertfordshire man in control of his own destiny and left Fitzpatrick with a hill to climb.
Many would have liked to have seen Fitzpatrick complete the double having become British Boys champion 12 months earlier.
If that was to happen, he needed a fast start in the afternoon but it didn’t happen. In fact, the situation got worse for the Sheffield youngster when Shinkwin birdied the 20th then took the next with a par after Fitzpatrick drove into trees.
It was then that the first of two heavy showers began to fall. Fortunately for him, Fitzpatrick was conceded the short 22nd when Shinkwin miscued his chip after missing the green.
No holes were won or lost before the turn which Shinkwin reached in level-par to Fitzpatrick’s one-over.
Shinkwin went five-up for the second time at the 28th, when Fitzpatrick again tangled with the trees, only to lose the next hole.
But the end was in sight. On the 30th, Shinkwin could have gone further in front but his birdie putt lipped out, while both had chances at the next. As the rain returned
for the second time on the 32nd, Fitzpatrick missed a chance to
take the contest further when his putt stayed above ground, while Shinkwin secured the half he needed for the title.
Fitzpatrick went into the final having played 13 holes less than his opponent including a 7&6 win over Tomasz Anderson in the semi-finals. On the other hand, Shinkwin needed all 18 holes in his semi-final to edge out England team-mate Max Orrin.
© Leaderboard Photography