BROOKLINE, Mass. – Matthew Fitzpatrick won’t be sleeping in his own bed for this week’s U.S. Open, but he will be in familiar lodging.
When Fitzpatrick learned that the U.S. Open was headed back to The Country Club, site of his 2013 U.S. Amateur victory, Fitzpatrick rung up the Fultons, his host family from nine years ago.
“Staying with them this week,” Fitzpatrick said, “which is going to be good fun.”
And hopefully good luck once again.
Fitzpatrick didn’t begin his U.S. Amateur run as a guest of Will and Jennifer Fulton and their three children – Sam, Annabelle, and George. Fitzpatrick, along with his brother/caddie, Alex, and his parents, Russell and Sue, started in a hotel, but they checked out the morning of the 36-hole match-play day because Russell Fitzpatrick figured his son wouldn’t make the next day’s quarterfinals.
When Matthew did, the Fitzpatricks reached out to the USGA and were connected with the Fultons, who proved to be helpful hosts as Fitzpatrick won, defeating Oliver Goss in the final.
Since that historic week, Fitzpatrick has kept in touch with the Fultons, visiting them a handful of times, including spending his first Thanksgiving with them the year of Fitzpatrick’s first – and only – semester at Northwestern. (Don’t ask him what he thinks of green beans.)
“I've been back a few times since, and love coming back here,” said Fitzpatrick, who has yet to see the golf course’s current composite routing, which is different than what he played in 2013. “Obviously love having my family here the whole week and having my brother on the bag was really special, so yeah, it was just great memories. … I can't believe it's nine years ago really. It's crazy how fast it's gone.”
In addition to reuniting with the Fultons, Fitzpatrick was also hoping to link up with a police officer who helped save his championship back in 2013. In the semifinal, Alex Fitzpatrick left one of his brother’s wedges near the first green, and the officer retrieved it for him.
“We became really good friends,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick, who hails from England, will undoubtedly have the support as if he were a hometown kid this week. And now 18th in the world and coming off a T-5 at the PGA Championship, he likely won’t be checking out of the Fulton residence early.