Tue. Jun 28th, 2022
US Open 2022: Matt Fitzpatrick wins first major at Brookline Country Club

-6 M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -5 W Zalatoris (US), S Scheffler (US); -3 H Matsuyama (Jpn); -2 C Morikawa (US). R McIlroy (NI)
Selected others: +1 J Rahm (Spa); +2 X Schauffele (US); +4 D Johnson (US); +7 J Thomas (US), J Rose (Eng), J Spieth (US); +12 B Koepka (US); +13 B DeChambeau (US)

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick was swamped by his household after beautifully holding off the world’s greatest gamers to assert his first main title with a one-shot victory within the US Open at Brookline.

The 27-year-old was additionally hugged by Rory McIlroy on the 18th inexperienced as he turned simply the third Englishman in 52 years to win the game’s second oldest main.

Fitzpatrick shot a two-under 68 for a six-under complete to beat world primary Scottie Scheffler (67) and Will Zalatoris (69) in a gripping battle that went to the ultimate gap.

“It’s what you develop up dreaming of,” stated Fitzpatrick. “It’s one thing I’ve labored so laborious for for such a very long time. I’ve bought to present myself credit score: I had a lot persistence.”

His win will likely be remembered for the beautiful shot he performed from a fairway bunker on the 18th.

In scenes harking back to Sandy Lyle’s final-hole bunker shot on his solution to successful the 1988 Masters at Augusta National, Fitzpatrick launched a excessive reduce on the inexperienced, the ball touchdown 20 ft past the flag and spinning a few ft nearer.

A two-putt par was then sufficient to spark scenes of sheer jubilation as his mum, dad and brother embraced him on the inexperienced.

Sheffield-born Fitzpatrick, who additionally received the US Amateur title at Brookline again in 2013 joins Jack Nicklaus as the one two males to win each that and the US Open on the identical venue – Nicklaus achieved the feat at Pebble Beach.

He can be the primary non-American to win each titles.

And he joins 1970 champion Tony Jacklin and 2013 victor Justin Rose as modern-day English winners of the US Open.

Both Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris went shut ultimately month’s US PGA Championship and regardless of neither of them having received on the PGA Tour earlier than this week, they didn’t flinch throughout a titanic battle on a tense remaining day.

Fitzpatrick holds his nerve on day of twists and turns

Matt Fitzpatrick wins his first main on the US Open

Masters champion Scheffler, defending champion Jon Rahm and world quantity three McIlroy have been all inside putting distance of joint in a single day leaders Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris at the beginning of the ultimate spherical in Massachusetts.

But whereas Rahm and McIlroy’s challenges faltered, Scheffler powered into the lead with 4 birdies in his first six holes as he appeared to grow to be simply the sixth man to win the Masters and US Open in the identical 12 months, and solely the second man after Tiger Woods to win this main whereas sitting high of the world rankings.

Fitzpatrick answered with birdies on the third and fifth holes whereas a nervy wanting Zalatoris had two bogeys to slide 4 photographs behind the main duo.

However, two beautiful irons photographs led to successive birdies on the sixth and seventh holes to spark 25-year-old Zalatoris into life, and when Scheffler hit hassle across the flip and Fitzpatrick missed two brief putts, unexpectedly it was Zalatoris who led by two.

An enormous turning level got here on the thirteenth, although, when Fitzpatrick holed a 48-foot birdie putt to tie Zalatoris, who made a clutch par save from 12 ft.

Scheffler was at all times lurking, however the remaining pair appeared decided that one in every of them would grow to be the 14th first-time main winner to carry the US Open trophy previously 18 years – it was only a case of who would land that knockout blow.

On the fifteenth, Fitzpatrick moved two clear when he made a birdie and Zalatoris a bogey, however the American reduce that benefit in half with a birdie on 17 after one more laser of an iron shot.

More drama got here on the ultimate gap. Fitzpatrick hit his tee shot right into a fairway bunker however the Englishman escaped brilliantly and though a two-putt par left Zalatoris needing a birdie to drive a play-off, the Texan was unable to gap his effort.

You wouldn’t have wager towards further holes given all three earlier US Opens held at Brookline have been determined by play-offs. But Zalatoris’ effort slid agonisingly huge and as he slumped to his knees, Fitzpatrick and his caddie Billy Foster embraced.

It was extra main agony for Zalatoris although, who completed as runner-up for the second main in a row after dropping to Justin Thomas in a play-off on the US PGA Championship.

‘I didn’t need a fairway bunker shot’

Matt Fitzpatrick
Matt Fitzpatrick hits the shot that clinched his US Open title from the green bunker on 18

Fitzpatrick hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation in a shocking show of management and consistency, however the shot he will likely be remembered for is his outstanding restoration shot from the bunker on 18.

“If there’s one shot I simply didn’t need this 12 months it is a fairway bunker shot,” stated Fitzpatrick. “When I noticed it go away the sand I could not be happier.”

Fitzpatrick and his household have stayed with the identical American household in Boston that hosted him for his 2013 US Amateur victory – with the familiarity of the scenario having a constructive affect all through the week.

“It’s meant the world,” Fitzpatrick added.

“I’ve clearly received right here twice now. I’m attempting to get each tour occasion spherical right here. To stick with them this week has made it a lot extra enjoyable. There’s no strain and I’ve cherished each minute of it.”

‘Another missed alternative’ – McIlroy

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy had one more top-10 end on the US Open

While Rahm noticed his problem fizzle out with a final-round 74, it was one other missed likelihood for McIlroy so as to add to his 4 main titles after an eight-year drought.

McIlroy might by no means discover any consistency in his one-under 69, following all of his three front-nine birdies with bogeys. Two late birdies pushed him up right into a tied-fifth end.

It is a sixteenth top-10 end, eight of them high 5, within the 29 majors McIlroy has performed since successful his final one in 2014 – and though annoyed he’s attempting to stay constructive.

“I’ll look again at this as one other missed alternative simply as Southern Hills was, however missed alternatives are higher than not contending in any respect, ” stated McIlroy.

“So that could be a constructive. I’ve to remain affected person at this level as a result of if I simply maintain placing myself in place, in the end it will be my day and I’m going to get one.”

A primary main for veteran caddie Foster

Matt Fitzpatrick
Billy Foster has beforehand caddied for Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke

Among the scenes of unbridled pleasure on the 18th inexperienced, Fitzpatrick’s veteran caddie Foster was arguably extra emotional than his boss as he lastly loved a serious victory after 40 years of carrying the baggage of among the sport’s largest stars.

Foster has been on the bag of the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke and by no means received a serious, and the normally stoic Yorkshireman was overcome with emotion.

“It’s unbelievably emotional,” Foster informed Sky Sports. “I’m glad somebody has bought that enormous monkey off my again.

“It means rather a lot. Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Seve, they’ve had their possibilities through the years and (Thomas) Bjorn.

“I used to be caddying for him that day when he left it within the bunker at Sandwich [in 2003] and that basically harm. I thought of it for six months and it broke my coronary heart. That has put quite a lot of dangerous recollections to mattress. It means all the things.

“I knew he was ok to win a serious and this week he has performed unbelievable and he is not putted his greatest, which is unbelievable actually.

“He did my head in lacking a couple of brief putts,” he laughed. “He did not have to win by 4. One was sufficient.”

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