Matt Fitzpatrick wins US Open after tough fight in Brooklyn

Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick made a magical move on his way to his first major title and historic double at the 122nd US Open in Brooklyn.

shot behind playmate Will Zalatoris with a six-hole game, Fitzpatrick shot from 50 feet for a birdie over the 13th green to a tie and briefly moved two shots with another on the 15th.

World No. 1 Scotty Sheffler came within one with a birdie on the 17th, and Zalatoris did the same on the 16th, but the American painfully missed from 14 feet on the 18th to force the playoffs.

The win means Fitzpatrick will join 18-time major tournament winner Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win both the US Amateur and the US Open at the same venue, Nicklaus did at Pebble Beach in 1961 and 1972.

Together with his brother Alex, Fitzpatrick won the US Open in Brooklyn in 2013, the same year Justin Rose became the last Englishman to win the US Open in Merion.

For the second straight major, Fitzpatrick was in the final round of the final group, partnering with Mito Pereira in the US PGA in the South Hills last month.

In this case, the final 73 meant Fitzpatrick missed the playoff between Zalatoris and Justin Thomas by two shots, Thomas secured his second PGA USA title in a three-hole penalty shootout.

Three birdies in the first five holes of the final round put Scheffler in the lead, but Fitzpatrick broke from seven feet on a birdie on third and twice put a short par-four fifth on another after driving down the green.

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.

Close

Will Zalatoris’ reaction to the 12th hole putt in the final round of the US Open (Charlie Riedel/AP)

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.

Another birdie on the 15th combined with Zalatoris’ scarecrow briefly gave Fitzpatrick a two-shot lead, but Scheffler and Zalatoris kept up the pressure with birdies on the 17th and 16th respectively.

Zalatoris then left a birdie in 17th, slightly shorter, and agonizingly missed from 14 feet in last to force what could have been a fourth straight playoff at the US Open in Brooklyn.

Former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama posted a final 65, the week’s lowest round, finishing fourth in a three-under, with Rory McIlroy and Open champion Collin Morikawa tied for fifth in a game two-under.

McIlroy felt he was just one great round away from capturing a fifth major title and first since 2014 after fighting 73 on Saturday, but mixed four birdies and four ghosts in his first 14 holes and eventually signed for 69.

Defending champion John Rahm started the final round with a lead but struggled to make it to the final 74 points.