Fitzpatrick leads U.S. Amateur, 1 up, after 18 holes

Matt Fitzpatrick at No. 7 during the first 18 holes of the final at the 2013 U. S. Amateur at The Country Club.

Matt Fitzpatrick at No. 7 during the first 18 holes of the final at the 2013 U. S. Amateur at The Country Club.

— Matthew Fitzpatrick carries a 1-up lead into the second 18 holes of the 36-hole U.S. Amateur match-play final – with the difference coming at No. 15 when Oliver Goss conceded the hole as Fitzpatrick faced a 12-foot birdie putt.

Fitzpatrick is trying to become the first English U.S. Amateur champion since Harold Hilton won the 1911 championship.

Fitzpatrick three-putted twice early at The Country Club – but also holed putts of 30 and 35 feet on Nos. 5 and 7, respectively.

Goss, of Australia, made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 from close range.

Fitzpatrick made four birdies to Goss’ two. The low amateur in the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield, Fitzpatrick is No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and is headed to Northwestern in the fall.

Only seven holes were halved in the first portion of the championship – a result of both players taking chances and firing at pins.

It seemed that both were going to make bogey to end the opening round, but a 20-foot, par-saving putt from Fitzpatrick fell into the cup after he had hacked it out from the high rough. Meanwhile Goss, in the second cut below the green when his approach shot fell short, chipped in from the collar of the green to answer Fitzpatrick.

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