Rory McIlroy was even more frustrated as a moment of magic from Matt Fitzpatrick kept him in an exciting battle for the 122nd US Open in Brooklyn.
Silroy felt he was just one great round away from winning his fifth major title and his first since 2014 after struggling 73 on Saturday, but mixed four birdies and four scarecrows on 14 holes Sunday to effectively ruin his chances.
At the top of the leaderboard, Fitzpatrick tied for the lead with playing partner Will Zalatoris five short with five holes to go, with world No. 1 Scotty Sheffler just one shot behind.
Fitzpatrick hit from seven feet on third and hit a short par-four fifth for the birdie twice after driving the green on the hole that cost McIlroy and defending champion John Rahm a shot.
The 27-year-old from Sheffield then hit a sixth from long range three times to hit his first shot of the day, but his increased length from the tee paid off again on a par-five-eighth when he hit the green two before setting up a light birdie. .
This gave him back a share of the lead, and he soon took the lead as Scheffler hit his first hit of the day on the 10th and then hit three puts on a 108-yard 11th—a hole that cost him a double bogey in the round. three.
Zalatoris nearly punched his approach to the seventh and also batted the ninth to close on a shot by teammate Fitzpatrick, who unexpectedly missed four feet for par 10 after sloshing out of the bunker.
A birdie on the 11th put Zalatoris in the lead for the first time, and moments later he had a two-stroke lead, with Fitzpatrick a three-stroke lead just a few inches closer to the hole on the same line.
However, Zalatoris spooked the 12th and saw his lead destroyed in spectacular fashion on the next, Fitzpatrick unleashing a powerful roar after blasting 50 feet down the green for an unlikely birdie.
Fitzpatrick played in the final group for the second consecutive Major, partnering with Mito Pereira last month at the PGA USA Championship in the Southern Hills.
A final 73 meant Fitzpatrick missed the playoffs by two shots, but all week the Englishman was fueled by memories of his American Amateur win in Brooklyn in 2013, the same year Justin Rose became the last Englishman to win in the US. Opened in Merion.
Sunday’s victory would see Fitzpatrick join Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win the US Amateur and US Open at the same field, Nicklaus did at Pebble Beach in 1961 and 1972.
All three previous US Opens held in Brooklyn have ended in the playoffs, and tournament officials have mentioned two of them on the last two holes.
The 17th pin position was typical of that used in the final round in 1913, when local amateur Francis Ouimet made a critical birdie en route to victory.
And 18th was in the same position as in the final round in 1988 when Curtis Strange saved par from the green bunker to force a playoff against Nick Faldo.
Strange won the 18-hole playoff by four shots and successfully defended his title the following year.