November 29, 2022

Features

How underdog Fitzpatrick plotted for maiden US Open victory

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick captured his first major title on Sunday by winning the US Open in dramatic fashion, making spectacular shots as rivals crumbled under 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 defeated Americans Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris by one stroke.

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 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 of the achievement.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, fired the best round of the week, a bogey-free 65, to finish fourth on three-under 277. Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and two-time major champion Collin Morikawa shared fifth on 278 while second-ranked Spaniard Jon Rahm, the defending champion, shared 12th on 281 after a closing 74.

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