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Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick (right) and his caddy Billy Foster on the 18th greenme hole, on the last lap of the 122me US Open in Massachusetts, June 19.
Author of several spectacular putts, the 27-year-old golfer beat American Scottie Scheffler, N.oh1 in the world, winner of the April Masters, and Will Zalatoris (14me) who still fails in second place a month after the PGA Championship.
“I have no words. It’s what you dream of growing up. It’s something I’ve worked so hard for for so long. My first win. In a Major. There is nothing better“, commented on 18me world player
Originally from Sheffield, he was just 18 years old when he won in 2013, at the Country Club located in the suburbs of Boston. Eleven other golfers have achieved the same double, including the legendary Jack Nicklaus, the only one who has done it like him on the same course, Peeble Beach in California.
“It means a lot to know that my name is next to yours. I don’t know if you’re listening, but I was a bit annoyed earlier this year when I got my Bears Club membership card. (property of Nicklaus, editor’s note). He told me + Finally! Congratulations, for having this victory in the meUnited States+. Now I can tell you +Jack, I won for the second time this year+“, he said smiling.
In doing so, Fitzpatrick became the seventh golfer in history to win a Major for his first title, following Orville Moody (US Open 1969), Paul Lawrie (British Open 1999), Shaun Micheel (PGA Championship 2003), Michael Campbell (2005 US Open), Louis Oosthuizen (2010 British Open), and Danny Willett (2016 Masters).
Before this consecration, his professional career had its best moments on the European circuit, where he won seven titles in 2015 and 2021. A month ago he had finished 5.me of the PGA Championship.
Therefore, he is in rather good shape as he entered this US Open, further fueled by a confidence inherited from his happy past at Brookline. “I’ve said it over and over again, I’ve done very well here in the past… I’ve hit the ball well all week. So, I’ll say it because I won, but mostly I got some amazing shots late in the game.“.
Hard to contradict him. After being patient in the first part of the course, in which Scheffler momentarily slipped away before setting time in 3me position, in particular he managed an impressive fifty-foot putt on the Noh13, who birdied back to Zalatoris, then in the lead.
Less than Schwartzel
Then to the NohOn the 15th, he came out of the rough, out of the tall grass very well, enhancing his approach with a barely obvious but controlled putt. Zalatoris, meanwhile, cracked as he bogeyed.
Two shots ahead of his rivals, with three holes to go, Fitzpatrick was undeterred as Zalatoris and Scheffler returned to unity, having respectively birdied the N.oh16 and Noh17
We had to avoid making mistakes on the way to the last hole. Which was his shot from the right fairway into the bunker. But he knew how to rectify the shot superbly, to reach the green and secure the winning par.
“It’s one of the best shots I’ve ever taken in my life. When I saw the ball come out of the sand, I couldn’t be happier.“, he reacted.
This US Open marked the return of the exiles from the PGA, who yielded to the sirens of the dissident league LIV Golf, financed by Saudi Arabia. Four players out of the 15 involved made the cut, Dustin Johnson finishing in the best place (24me +4).
With money being the source of the schism, Fitzpatrick will collect a record $3.15 million PGA check. Less than Charl Schwartzel, the first winner of an LIV tournament, which was close to 4.75 million last week in London.