Rising star Matthew Fitzpatrick can look forward to his cashing in his first paycheque after a second round of 69 guaranteed the 19 year old will play all four rounds on his professional debut in the Irish Open.
The Englishman improved on his opening round of 72 by three shots for a one under par total of 141, making the cut with a shot to spare at Fota Island Resort.
That means the US Amateur Champion, who also made the cut in last week’s US Open Championship in his last event before joining the paid ranks, will be certain to earn some prize money over the weekend towards his target of earning full playing rights on The European Tour next season.
“I’m delighted,” said the Sheffield teenager. “To make the cut was the first aim. It’s a nice feeling. I was disappointed to finish with two bogeys in the last three holes, but I will learn from that. I’m just delighted to be here for the weekend.
“There’s nothing to lose now. It will be my first cheque as this is my first ever job. It’s a nice feeling and I will try to do my best now on the weekend.”
When the Irish Open last visited Fota Island Resort 12 years ago the event marked the professional debut of 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell, with the Northern Irishman earning his first prize money after finishing in a share of 27th place.
Fitzpatrick will be looking to finish even higher than that and, longer term, he is hoping he can follow a similar path to the Ryder Cup star, who continued his happy return to the Cork venue with a five under par round of 66 to move into a share of second place.
“If I had a career like Graeme’s, I would be a very happy person,” he said. “That would be absolutely great if that was the case.”
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