English teen Fitzpatrick humming happy tune at Masters

Tue Apr 8, 2014 5:58pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - English teenager Matthew Fitzpatrick is the youngest player in the field at this week's Masters and over the moon about playing at Augusta.

The 19-year-old reigning U.S. Amateur champion is bubbling with excitement but not expected to be whistling while he works around the fabled Augusta National layout in this year's first major championship.

"It's such an amazing place and much more amazing than I ever thought it would be," Fitzpatrick told reporters after his practice round on Tuesday with two-times major winner Rory McIlroy. "The course and the place itself is just fantastic. There's nowhere in the world like it."

Fitzpatrick will be paired with defending Masters champion Adam Scott and PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner for the first two rounds starting on Thursday.

Scott fondly recalled his first round at Augusta as a 21-year-old in 2002.

"I got to play my first two rounds ever with Fuzzy Zoeller in the tournament, so he was whistling off the first tee (laughter)," Scott said about the fun-loving 1979 champion, the last player to win the Masters in his first appearance.

"I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but it was certainly a little more light-hearted than I thought.

"Unfortunately for Matthew, I'm not going to be whistling off the first tee," the Australian, dead serious about trying to retain the green jacket, said to laughter in the interview room. "So he'll have to find another way to calm down."   Continued...

Britain's amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick (C) and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (R) walk up the ninth fairway during a practice round ahead of the 2014 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 8, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder