Fitzpatrick (71) in the mix at RBC Heritage


Wet conditions and gusty winds made scoring difficult Friday morning at the RBC Heritage, but amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick successfully battled the elements, carding an even-par 71 at Harbour Town.

Fitzpatrick, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, remains at even par for the week and will easily make the cut in a PGA Tour event for the first time this year. The 19-year-old Englishman missed the cut last month at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and last week at the Masters. He did play the weekend at the 2013 British Open, where he tied for 44th.

The short-game skills that won Fitzpatrick the Havemeyer Trophy last summer have been on full display this week. He remains in the mix despite finding only 19 of 36 greens in regulation through two rounds. Fitzpatrick opened with three birdies across his first six holes and took just 29 putts to complete his second round.

Fitzpatrick finished before heavy rains rolled into Hilton Head, and he stood in a tie for 24th when play was halted because of inclement weather. He trails leader K.J. Choi by five shots, though a large portion of the field had yet to complete their second rounds.

Fitzpatrick is one of two amateurs among the 132-man field this week. Hunter Stewart also gained entry by virtue of his win last year at the Players Amateur in nearby Bluffton. Stewart, who plays collegiately for Vanderbilt, carded rounds of 74 and 73 and will likely miss the cut.