BROOKLINE, UNITED STATES (AFP) – England’s Matt Fitzpatrick captured his first major title on Sunday by winning the United States (US) Open in dramatic fashion, making spectacular shots as rivals crumbled under the final-round pressure.
After a thrilling three-man fight down the back nine at The Country Club, Fitzpatrick fired a two-under-par 68 to finish on six-under-par 274 and defeat Americans Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris by one stroke.
“I’m going to say it because I won but I hit some unbelievable shots coming down the stretch and that’s what I work for,” Fitzpatrick said.
With perseverance, Fitzpatrick delivered his first professional US victory for a long-sought major trophy. “It’s what you grow up dreaming of,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s something I’ve worked so hard for for such a long time. There was a big monkey on my back trying to win over here and everyone, all they ever talked about was that. To do it as a major for my first win – there’s nothing better.”
World number 18 Fitzpatrick, who won the 2013 US Amateur at The Country Club, matched Jack Nicklaus as the only US Open and US Amateur winners on the same course, the US legend doing the double at Pebble Beach. “It means the world,” Fitzpatrick said.
The 27-year-old from Sheffield, who shared fifth last month at the PGA Championship for his best prior major result, sank a stunning 48-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole to grab a share of the lead.
At the 15th, Fitzpatrick blasted out of the right rough to just inside 19 feet and rolled in a tension-packed putt to reach 6-under.
“Got a couple of nice breaks on 15 and took advantage of it and that’s what it took in the end,” Fitzpatrick said. After birdies by top-ranked Masters champion Scheffler at 17 and Zalatoris on 16, Fitzpatrick clung to a one-stroke lead at the 18th tee.
The Englishman sent his tee shot into a left fairway bunker, but blasted a magnificent approach to 18 feet and two putted for par.