Alex Fitzpatrick Secures First Pro Title With Classy Final Round

A final round 68 gave Sheffield golfer Fitzpatrick a five-shot win at St Mellion in the British Challenge

Alex Fitzpatrick enjoys his maiden pro win
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alex Fitzpatrick’s reputation continues to grow after he won his maiden Challenge Tour title with a “tense” win in front of Sheffield United legend Neil Warnock.

Younger brother to US Open winner, Matt Fitzpatrick, Alex qualified for the 2023 Open Championship where he went on to finish tied 17th on two-under, as he banked £146,000 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake. That was four shots better than his brother, who was tied for 41st. 

But it has since been back to the day job for Fitzpatrick junior on the Challenge Tour, where he previously recorded a solo fourth at the Italian Challenge Open. But now the Sheffield pro has added silverware to his impressive CV after clinching the British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management, with a four-under final round 68 at St Mellion coming in front of former Blades boss, Warnock.

Fitzpatrick, who only had four bogeys all tournament, said: “It was pretty tense to be honest. I didn’t know where I was until the 13th green when I holed a really good putt over the hill.

“The support has been incredible. I stood on the first green and was looking around and thinking: ‘where have I seen him before; no wait it is Neil Warnock’. I couldn’t believe it and then he waved at me. I was almost more nervous to see Neil Warnock here than to play golf. It was incredible to have support from him and friends and I'm very happy to get it done."

Fitzpatrick started the day three strokes behind overnight leader Stuart Manley of Wales, before birdies at two of his opening four holes closed the gap to one. After Manley bogeyed the sixth, Fitzpatrick took the outright lead for the first time on the following hole.  

The Englishman then added back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th to move clear and bag his best finish of the season after previously coming fourth at the Italian Challenge Open and then tied 40th at the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.

The 24-year-old pulled off the win with a total of 276 after 72, 66, 70 in his first three rounds helped clinch a five-shot lead. Victory also completed a lucrative summer for Fitzpatrick, who has now won over £200,000 in the last five weeks as his stock continues to soar since turning professional in 2022 after a four-year college career at Wake Forest University.

Attached to Pete Cowan’s Golf Academy, Fitzpatrick reached No.4 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings and represented Great Britain & Ireland at the 2019 and 2021 Walker Cups.

On July 4th, he reached Royal Liverpool by finishing in a share of fourth place in the 36-hole final qualifying event at West Lancashire, where there were five places up for grabs in a field of 72.

Fitzpatrick outplayed Sergio Garcia and shot 70 and 65 to finish at nine-under as his feats included holing a brilliant bunker shot. “This kid’s short game is so good,” brother Matt said in the tweet that featured the video.

James Nursey

James Nursey is a freelance contributor to Golf Monthly after spending over 20 years as a sports reporter in newspapers. During a 17-year career with the Daily Mirror, he covered mainly football but reported from The Open annually and also covered a Ryder Cup and three US Opens. He counts a pre-tournament exclusive with Justin Rose at Merion in 2013 as one of his most memorable as the Englishman went on to win his first Major and later repeated much of the interview in his winner’s speech.  Now, after choosing to leave full-time work in newspapers, James, who is a keen single-figure player, is writing about golf more.  His favourite track is the Old Course after attending St Andrews University but has since played mainly at Edgbaston, where he is a member. James’ golfing highlights include a hole-in-one and previously winning the club championship and scratch knock-out at Edgbaston. He is also an active member of the Association of Golf Writers and Press Golfing Society, for whom he has represented in matches. But he is just as happy hitting balls or playing the odd hole with his young daughter at their local club Shrewsbury.

James is currently playing: 
Driver: Ping G400
3 wood: Ping i20
Hybrid: Ping i20
Irons: Ping i500 4-SW
Wedges: Ping Glide forged 50, 56
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour
Ball: Titleist ProVIx