Matt Fitzpatrick's family overwhelmed him after he brilliantly held off the world's best players to win the US Open at Brookline. The 27-year old beca
Matt Fitzpatrick’s family overwhelmed him after he brilliantly held off the world’s best players to win the US Open at Brookline. The 27-year old became the third Englishman in 52 years to win the second oldest golf major.
In a thrilling contest that went to the final hole, Fitzpatrick posted a two-under 68 for a six-under total to beat World Number One Scottie Scheffler (67) and Will Zalatoris (69).
“It’s what you grow up dreaming of,” said Fitzpatrick. “It’s something I’ve worked so hard for for such a long time. I’ve got to give myself credit: I had so much patience.”
His victory will be noted for the awe-inspiring shot he produced from a fairway bunker on the 18th hole. Fitzpatrick’s bunker shot on the 18th hole, which resembled Sandy Lyle’s memorable Masters victory bunker shot in 1988, was an inspired one. The ball landed 20 yards past the flag and spun back towards it. His family were full of joy and smiles when he two-putted for par on the final hole.
Only two men have won both the US Amateur Championship at Brookline and the US Open—Jack Nicklaus at Pebble Beach being one of them. Fitzpatrick is the other.
He is one of only two Englishmen to have won the US Open since 1970 when Tony Jacklin triumphed. He is also the first British man to win a major since Danny Willett captured the Masters in 2016.
A Fine Finish for Fitzpatrick on the Final Day
Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris led the field at the beginning of the final round in Massachusetts, with defending champion Jon Rahm and Masters champion Scheffler and McIlroy within striking distance.
Rahm and McIlroy’s attempts to win the tournament faded, but Scheffler surged into the lead with four birdies in his initial six holes as he attempted to become the sixth man to capture the Masters and US Open in the same year.
Fitzpatrick built a four-shot lead on Zalatoris by making two birdies on holes three and five. However, Zalatoris got himself going with two excellent iron shots on the sixth and seventh holes, and when Scheffler encountered difficulty around the turn and Fitzpatrick missed two short putts, Zalatoris suddenly led by two.
On the 13th, Fitzpatrick holed a 48-foot birdie putt to tie Zalatoris, which produced a big turning point in the contest.
There has been a lot of speculation about who will win the US Open, but the last two matches seemed determined to produce the 14th first-time major winner in the last 18 years.
Fitzpatrick made a birdie on hole 15 to move two clear of Zalatoris, who produced a bogey, but Zalatoris’s fought back on the 17th by making a birdie after another laser of an iron shot which cut the lead advantage in half.
The final hole provided more excitement. Fitzpatrick drove his shot into a fairway bunker, but the Englishman managed to hit his shot off beautifully and finished with a two-putt par. Zalatoris was unable to produce a birdie to force the round into a play-off.
Despite all three previous US Opens at Brookline having been decided by play-offs, you wouldn’t have bet on extra holes. Zalatoris’ shot rolled agonizingly wide, and Fitzpatrick and his caddie Billy Foster leapt for joy as they embraced.
Zalatoris suffered the most after finishing second for the second consecutive major, losing to Justin Thomas in a play-off at the US PGA Championship.
Fitzpatrick’s control and consistency were on display when he hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation, but it was his amazing bunker shot on 18 that will be remembered.
The familiarity of staying with the same American family in Boston, where he won the 2013 US Amateur, helped Fitzpatrick have a positive week.
He also stated that staying in Boston during the week helped him to relax and he felt no pressure to play so he loved every minute of the contest.
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