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BROOKLINE, Mass. — England’s Matt Fitzpatrick is champion once more at The Nation Membership, this time with the most important trophy in golf.
2013 US Beginner Champion. US Open Champion on Sunday.
In a three-way battle at Brookline that went all the best way, Fitzpatrick took management with a giant break and a good higher shot on the fifteenth gap for a two-shot swing. He was proper within the clutch of a fairway bunker on the 18th that set the par for a two-under 68.
Victory wasn’t sure till Will Zalatoris, who confirmed an unimaginable struggle towards each mistake, fell to his knees when his 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th skidded off the left aspect of the cup. Zalatoris, who closed with a 69, was runner-up within the second consecutive main.
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler by no means recovered from back-to-back bogeys to start out the ultimate 9 holes that value him the lead. He had a 25-foot birdie shot on the 18 that narrowly missed leaving him 1 shot behind on a 67.
Together with the $3.15 million in prize cash, Fitzpatrick had the Jack Nicklaus gold medal round his neck, which was becoming.
Fitzpatrick is the thirteenth man to win each the US Beginner and US Open in his profession, and the second to win each on the identical course, becoming a member of Nicklaus, who pulled off the trick at Pebble Seashore. Juli Inkster received the US Ladies’s Beginner and the US Ladies’s Open at Prairie Dunes.
Fitzpatrick, who briefly performed at Northwestern earlier than turning professional, received for the eighth time worldwide, and this was the primary in the US, at the least in a event everybody is aware of. He received the member-member award at The Bear’s Membership in Florida earlier this 12 months, the course that Nicklaus constructed.
“He insulted me a bit bit earlier within the 12 months. He mentioned, ‘Lastly. Congratulations on profitable within the States,'” Fitzpatrick mentioned.
After which, barely elevating the trophy, Fitzpatrick despatched an amused message to Nicklaus: “Jack, I received for the second time.”
Fitzpatrick grew to become the primary participant since Graeme McDowell in 2010 to earn his first PGA Tour win on the US Open.
He took an excellent break, a signature shot and a few guts on the finish.
Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris had been tied going for 15 when the Englishman hit his tee shot thus far to the fitting that it went into the gallery and located respectable place on the turf that was lifeless and trampled. Zalatoris missed by a couple of meters and was buried within the thick grass.
Fitzpatrick hit a 5-iron from 220 yards 18 toes beneath the opening. Zalatoris entered the entrance bunker, jumped 25 toes and bogeyed. Fitzpatrick took a 2-shot lead when his birdie putt entered the cup with such good timing that he did not even contact the pin it leaves within the cup.
Zalatoris rallied once more, taking a tough dunk on the par-3 7-foot 16 for birdie to chop the result in one shot. Each missed 12-foot birdie probabilities on the seventeenth, after which Fitzpatrick missed a fairway on the improper time, pulling it left right into a bunker with a steep tough proper in entrance of him.
It appeared a tie-break was eminent: the earlier three US Opens at Brookline had been determined by a tie-break, after which Fitzpatrick fearlessly hit a fadeout with a 9-iron that carried the large bunker in entrance of the inexperienced and settled 18 toes. far.
He narrowly missed and will solely watch as Zalatoris missed his final likelihood.
“Matt’s shot at 18 will most likely present up for the remainder of US Open historical past,” Zalatoris mentioned. “I handed by and thought that making an attempt could be dangerous.” However the truth that he pulled it off and even had a birdie look was simply superb.
“So hats off to him. He performed rather well all week clearly and put in a strong spherical right this moment.”
Fitzpatrick completed with 134, six underneath par.
The 27-year-old Fitzpatrick, the primary Englishman since Justin Rose in 2013 to win the US Open and the youngest England participant to win a serious since Tony Jacklin on the 1970 US Open, felt his time was drawing close to. He’s meticulous about laying out his pictures and retains monitor of all of them to establish what wants work. And he is emphasised pace in his swing for the previous two years, giving him the size and confidence to compete with anybody.
That did not make Sunday any simpler, a three-man race from the beginning as Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy backed off and by no means rejoined the combination.
Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris, who shared a 54-hole lead, every had a 2-shot lead at one level.
Zalatoris, who misplaced in a playoff to Justin Thomas on the PGA Championship final month, recovered from two early bogeys. They had been tied when Zalatoris made an 18-foot birdie putt on the quick par-3 11, and Fitzpatrick made three bogey putts from the identical vary.
The 25-year-old from Dallas immediately had a 2-shot lead. He additionally could not maintain the ball within the fairway, costing him a dropped shot at No. 12. After which got here one other massive turning level, with Fitzpatrick pocketing a 50-foot birdie putt on the thirteenth inexperienced. Zalatoris did effectively to make his pair of 15 toes and headed to the tense conclusion.
Scheffler was nonetheless mulling his bid for a second main this 12 months, however everybody else grew to become a distant reminiscence. Hideki Matsuyama had the bottom spherical of the week with 65, however he completed with 3-under 277, and that was by no means going to be adequate.
In the long run, it was Fitzpatrick sharing hugs together with his household on the inexperienced, together with his youthful brother Alex, who was his caddy within the US Beginner and not too long ago turned professional.
And there was his caddy, Billy Foster, considered one of Europe’s hottest and veteran loopers who had by no means been within the bag of a serious till Sunday.
“Billy mentioned it for some time to maintain doing what you are doing and the chance will come,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “He did, and I took benefit of it.”
ESPN Stats & Info and The Related Press contributed to this report.
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