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U.S. Open 2014

12th-15th June

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US Open: Matt Fitzpatrick ready for short-game test at Pinehurst

Last Updated: 09/06/14 3:44pm

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Amateur star Matt Fitzpatrick is hoping to make the cut at Pinehurst.

Matt Fitzpatrick believes short-game prowess will be crucial to success in this week’s US Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina.

Narrow fairways and heavy rough are traditionally a prominent feature at the second major of the year, but the USGA has opted for a different approach this week.

The rough has been removed from the course and the fairways widened in many places, although players will still have to avoid sandy waste areas with their tee shots.

However, the biggest test over the famous No 2 Course will be hitting and holding the domed greens, all of which are surrounded by steep run-off areas.

As the reigning US Amateur champion, Fitzpatrick will play the opening two rounds with holder Justin Rose and Open champion Phil Mickelson in his last tournament before turning professional.

And the Sheffield youngster is very aware which facet of his game will face the sternest examination this week.

“Chipping is going to be key all week, because there’s no rough and balls will run off greens and into the flattest spots around the green,” he said.

“With the greens so fast, it’s incredibly hard to chip to a foot every time, so you’ve got to be holing six-to-eight foot putts.”

Plans for the weekend

Fitzpatrick has been careful to keep his preparations low key as he prepares to play in a marquee three-ball, and he hopes to atone for missing the cut at the Masters in April.

“It’s nice to see all the USGA people that were at the US Amateur, I’ve not seen them for a long time,” he added.

“That’s a nice positive as well and being US Amateur champion, to be in the professional version is quite special.

“My target is just to make the cut. It’s a major and the best players in the world are here, so I just want to make the cut and push on from there.”

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