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Are the Fitzpatrick brothers England's next big stars?

Will TideySeptember 9, 2013
Matthew Fitzpatrick won 3 of 4 points, but GB & Ireland suffered Walker Cup defeat © Getty Images
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The 44th Walker Cup ended in sweeping victory for the American team, who dispatched Great Britain & Ireland 17-9 and lorded it over the singles matches in New York.

After their nation's historic humbling at Ryder Cup 2012, this is the kind of story American golf clings to - a convincing argument that the next generation will rise to dominate Europe again.

Could Bobby Wyatt, who took 3.5 points from 4, be America's Ryder Cup answer to Ian Poulter? If not Wyatt, then maybe one of his seven fellow college golfers aged 22 or younger who lined up alongside him this past weekend?

The US have now won four of the last five Walker Cups. Should Europe be worried?

Only time will tell, but here are three answers to Americans who tell you the future is theirs. One, being an excellent amateur college golfer is no guarantee at all you'll thrive in the pros (see the 1997 Walker Cup teams for evidence). The second and third answers share the surname Fitzpatrick.

If you've not heard of Matthew Fitzpatrick, he's currently the no. 1 amateur in the world. He's 18 years old and the reigning US Amateur champion - having become the first English player for more than 100 years to take the title.

Fitzpatrick also won the silver medal at the Open Championship this year and will be at Augusta for the Masters next April. He's wisely taken a scholarship at Northwestern University in Chicago, where he will follow the path of fellow Englishman Luke Donald. All his ducks are in a row, as they say.

Despite being on the losing side. Fitzpatrick won 3 of 4 points on offer at the Walker Cup.

"He's very good," said Fred Couples of the older Fitzpatrick earlier this year. "He doesn't miss many shots, hits it straight. At 18 you should putt well. He's a good putter."

And then there's the younger Fitzpatrick, Alex, who caddied for his brother at the US Amateur. "Alex is the Serena Williams of the family," said swing coach Mike Walker, in an interview with GolfWeek.

Alex is 14 and performed well in the English Boys Under-14 Championship last month, shooting rounds of 72, 72 and 75 to finish 13th.

It's far too early to say with Alex, but if he shares his brother's talent, confidence and maturity, he's on to a good thing.

Could we be looking at a Ryder Cup pairing for 2024?

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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Writer Bio

Will has covered Tour events. majors and Ryder Cups and interviewed the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Rory McIlroy. He once inhaled the cigar smoke of the coolest man in golf, Miguel Angel Jimenez, while watching sports cars tear around Brands Hatch. As a left-handed hacker he's been humiliated at esteemed venues including Carnoustie, Wentworth, Kiawah Island and Pinehurst No. 2.

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