Fitzpatrick’s meteoric rise from Amateur to professional glory

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The Men

Fitzpatrick’s meteoric rise from Amateur to professional glory

  • It doesn’t seem too long ago Matthew Fitzpatrick was amassing major honours in amateur golf. Now he’s doing it on a massive scale in the professional game. The 22-year-old Englishman ended the season with victory in the $8 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. He picked up a cheque for $1.3million for his third European Tour win in just 13 months.
  • Fitzpatrick first hit the headlines in 2012 when he won the Boys Amateur Championship. A year later he picked up the silver medal as leading amateur in the Open Championship at Muirfield, won the U.S. Amateur Championship and starred for Great Britain & Ireland in the Walker Cup. He capped off the 2013 season by winning the Mark H. McCormack Medal as leading amateur on the World Amateur Golf RankingTM. He is a salutary lesson that success in amateur golf can mean professional success, too.

Performance of the week

Higgo finishes in style

  • South Africa’s Garrick Higgo saved his best for last to win the Central Gauteng Open Stroke Play Championship over the East Course of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. The 16-year-old finished birdie-eagle to win. Scores of 68, 70 and 67 gave him an 11-under 205 total and a one-shot victory.

Nakajima wins Faldo title

  • Keita Nakajima improves 47 rankings this week to 642nd after winning the Faldo Series Asia Japan Championship.

Top 20 movers

  • Gavin Hall of the United States moves two places to 19th to join the top 20.

Top 50 movers

  • Australian Travis Smyth becomes a world top 50 player with a seven-ranking rise to 50th.

Biggest ranking improvement

  • Zimbabwe’s Never Milazi is the week’s most improved player with a jump of 1,336 rankings to world number of 4,477.

The Women

MacLaren turns professional

  • England’s Meghan MacLaren is hoping to turn an outstanding amateur career into a successful professional one. The former World Amateur Golf RankingTM top 20 player earned the winning point for Great Britain & Ireland in this year’s Curtis Cup, and also helped England win the European Team Championship. She enjoyed a successful career at Florida International University with eight victories. Her last amateur performance saw her defeat the professionals to win the Santander Golf Tour LETAS La Peñaza on the LET Access Series. MacLaren makes her professional debut in the Ladies European Tour’s Omega Dubai Ladies Masters next month.

Performance of the week

Del Rosario wins for second week in a row

  • Pauline del Rosario of the Philippines improves 20 places on this week’s World Amateur Golf RankingTM to 217th after winning for the second week in a row. Del Rosario added the Penang Amateur Open to the Melaka Amateur Open she won last week. She birdied the final hole to take the title by a stroke. It gave her a closing 1-under-par 71 and 6-under 210 total.

Xiang takes top junior honour

  • China’s Sui Xiang finished leading individual in the HSBC China Junior Team Championship in her homeland to jump 101 places on this week’s ranking to 256th.

Top 20 movers

  • United States Curtis Cup player Bethany Wu is the only new top 20 player with a one-ranking move to 20th.

Top 50 movers

  • Leslie Cloots of Belgium moves into the world top 50 by advancing two rankings to 49th.

    Biggest ranking improvement

    • Japan’s Arina Hiraki is the most improved player of the week with a move of 491 places to world number 2,304 after finishing 11th in the Faldo Series Asia Japan Championship.