Fitzpatrick Wins First Major at the US Open

Fitzpatrick Wins First Major at the US Open

MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP

US Open

Fitzpatrick Wins First Major at the US Open

Matthew Fitzpatrick is golf’s latest major champion. The 27-year-old Englishman produced one of the greatest ball-striking final rounds in US Open history to claim his maiden major title at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The Englishman found 17 greens in regulation matching the incredible feat of David Graham en route to his victory at Merion in 1981. Fitzpatrick held off world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and emerging talent Will Zalatoris by one shot.

Fitzpatrick has enjoyed a special affinity with The Country Club layout. He won the US Amateur title at the classic site as an 18-year-old in 2013 and now joins Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers in the men’s game to win the US Open and the US Amateur on the same course. Nicklaus did it at Pebble Beach.

Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris were the final pairing on Sunday after taking a share of the 54-hole lead into the final round. Both players were searching for their first major and maiden PGA Tour title. Fitzpatrick held the winning advantage over the American with seven European titles under his belt. The margin between the pair was four shots after five holes with Fitzpatrick picking up two birdies to get to 6-under while Zalatoris dropped two shots to fall back to 2-under. Scheffler, who began the final round at 2-under, collected four birdies at the opening six holes to match Fitzpatrick at the top of the leaderboard. It was a completely different storyline after 11 holes. Zalatoris bounced back with birdies at the 6th, 7th, 9th and 11th holes to lead the event at 6-under. Fitzpatrick and Scheffler made back-to-back bogeys at 10 and 11 to fall to 4-under. Holding a two-shot lead, Zalatoris hit a wayward drive at the 12th hole that led to a bogey. Fitzpatrick joined him in the lead at 5-under one hole later after burying a monster 50-foot birdie putt. Scheffler was one shot back. The 15th hole was pivotal in the result. Fitzpatrick flushed his 5-iron approach to the green from the rough and drained his birdie putt to reach 6-under. Zalatoris made a bogey at the difficult hole. Fitzpatrick now enjoyed a two-shot lead over Zalatoris and Scheffler and made three consecutive pars to close out with a 2-under 68 and finish at 6-under. It was enough to win the 122nd US Open by one shot with Zalatoris and Scheffler reduced the margin with one birdie each over the closing stretch.

Fitzpatrick becomes the ninth different player to win at the last nine major championships. It was the first time The Country Club produced a winner in regulation play with a playoff deciding the three other champions.

Scheffler was hoping to become just the sixth golfer in history to win both the Masters and the US Open in the same season. The 25-year-old, who boasts four wins this season, fired a final round 3-under 67 to share second place with Zalatoris. Zalatoris, ranked 14 in the world, carded a final round 1-under 69. The 25-year-old owns a remarkable record at majors with six top-10 finishes from just nine career major starts. Zalatoris, who is regarded as the best player yet to notch a PGA Tour title, has three runners up efforts at the majors. In May, he lost in a playoff to Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship. In 2021, he finished second behind Hideki Matsuyama at The Masters.

Matsuyama claimed solo fourth place this week at 3-under after firing a flawless 5-under 65 on Sunday for the low round by the field for the week. The 30-year-old from Japan went bogey-free over the final 30 holes.

Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy finished in a tie for fifth place at 2-under. Morikawa, aged 25, signed for a final round 4-under 66 to bounce back from his shocking 7-over 77 on Saturday (his highest ever score at a major). McIlroy was looking for his first major championship since 2014. In that timeframe he’s had 15 top-10 finishes in majors. The Northern Irishman shot a final round 1-under 69.

Jon Rahm returned to defend his US Open title from a year ago at Torrey Pines. Only two golfers in the last 50 years have gone back-to-back at the US Open—Curtis Strange in 1988 & ’89 and Brooks Koepka in 2017 & ’18. The Spaniard entered the final round one shot behind the leaders after finishing with a double bogey at the 18th green on Saturday. The 27-year-old fell back to a tie for 12th place after his 4-over 74 dropped him to 1-over for the event.

Marc Leishman and Adam Scott shared the honour as the best-placed Australians in the field. Both players carded a final round 2-under 68 to move up the leaderboard to finish at 2-over and in a tie for 16th place.

Travis Vick won the Gold Medal for the low amateur. The American finished in a tie for 43rd place at 8-over.

The PGA Tour moves to Connecticut for the Travelers Championship staged at TPC River Highlands. America’s Harris English is the defending champion.

Final Scores
US Open

1. Matthew Fitzpatrick -6
T2. Scottie Scheffler -5
T2. Will Zalatoris -5
4. Hideki Matsuyama -3
T5. Collin Morikawa -2
T5. Rory McIlroy -2
T5. Adam Hadwin -1
T8. Denny McCarthy -1
T8. Keegan Bradley -1

Australians
T14. Marc Leishman +2
T14. Adam Scott +2
T27. Min Woo Lee +5
T31. Todd Sinnott +6
MC. Cameron Smith
MC. Lucas Hebert
MC. Jediah Morgan

Photo credit: Andrew Redington /Getty Images

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