Editor's blog: Matt and Charley inspirational for the future

Why Fitzpatrick and Hull will become golf's 21st century legends

Bob Warters's picture
Submitted by Bob Warters on

In my personal view, Sunday, August 18 will go down in golf history alongside March 7, 1744 (when the Rules of Golf were first introduced), Friday June 16, 1899 (when Golf Illustrated was first published) and April 9, 1957 (the birth of Seve Ballesteros, legendary inspiration of the modern game).

All have their place in golf's sporting legend for different reasons and the latest makes it into my personal archive, because it's both freshest in my memory and introduces a new era which I'm sure we will look back on with fondness in years to come.

Remember the names of 19-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick from Sheffield and 17-year-old Charley Hull from Kettering, because last night they stamped their marks on men's and women's golf  by making impressions that we'll be talking about decades hence.

At Brookline last night Matthew became the first Englishman to win the US Amateur Championship since Harold Hilton in 1911 (like me, a former editor of Golf Illustrated) and 100 years after Britons Harry Vardon and Ted Ray had the tournament delayed at the same Country Club near Boston so they could contest America's main event  - only to lose out to teenager Francis Ouimet.

Fitzpatrick won the title, when he beat Australian Oliver Goss 4 & 3 in the 36-hole final with his 14-year-old brother Alex on his bag, re-kindling further memories of Ouimet who had 10-year-old Eddie Lowery as his caddie.

For Hull, a revelation after turning pro last year and landing five successive second places on the Ladies European Tour to catch the eye of Europe's Solheim captain Liselotte Neumann, her headline-grabbing achievements were equally spectacular.

After pairing with Yorkshire-born Jodi Ewart-Shadoff to win her first point on Saturday she was thrust into the vanguard of singles matches and demolished former World No.1 Paula Creamer with a birdie blitz that had even the Americans gasping. 

Inspired by her efforts, Europe went on to dom,inate the singles and finally retain the Solheim crystal vase in some style with a 18-10 victory.  

I'm perhaps not the first to predict great things individually for these relatively new kids on the block - Fitzpatrick has already won the 2013 Open championship silver medal as low amateur and Hull is a 2012 Curtis Cup winner - but maybe among the first to nominate them as potential household names within the next five years.

And certainly, despite the threat of the US PGA Tour tasking over men's golf in Europe,  with Matt and Charley at the helm over here golf in the UK a least looks to be in safe hands. 

Tell us on the forum what landmarks or people were your inspiration in golf...