Going into the final round on Sunday, the US Open had already delivered drama and excellence befitting a major and was tantalizingly poised. The leaderboard had Jon Rahm (-3) going for back-to-back titles, it had Will Zalatoris (-4) getting ever closer to a maiden major triumph, World number 1 Scottie Scheffler (-2) was just a couple of strokes away from topping his Masters win with another major in 2022, even as Keegan Bradley (-2) and Rory McIlroy (-1) were eyeing a strong Sunday surge. But it was Matt Fitzpatrick who broke through and won. He got his first career PGA Tour win, and it's a Major.
With his third round of 68 this week, he added the US Open to the US Amateur title he won at Brookline precisely 9 years ago. Interestingly, he joins the legendary Jack Nicklaus as the only player to win both titles at the same course. The 27-year-old British golfer (-6) won by one stroke from Zalatoris and Scheffler. He was pushed all the way by both, but when it came to the crunch moment, he produced a shot of inspiration from a bunker at hole 18, a 451-yard 4 par. We were treated to a riveting final-round shootout among 3 of golf’s best young players in recent times. It was a three-horse race and looked certain for a photo finish.
Golf is a game of inches and Zalatoris could have pushed the championships into a playoff if he hadn't missed the birdie on the last hole by a mere inch. He ran close in last month’s USPGA Championships too. But, ultimately it was Fitzpatrick who won — shooting 68-70-68-68 and winning by a single shot.
Lest we forget, which is hard to anyway, another young gun Cameron Young, hit a hole-in-one at the 165-yard par-3 sixth hole. It was the 48th known ace at a US Open, according to the USGA, and the first-ever at The Country Club.
Speaking of firsts, this is Fitzpatrick’s breakthrough win in the United States of America, and what a prize to bag! Granted that he has won 7 international events, but absolutely nothing matches up to this. An elated Fitzpatrick guffawed hugging his dad on Father’s Day “How good is that?! How good is that?!” Speaking to the press later, his happiness and relief at the achievement were visible.
“It’s what you grow up dreaming of winning and I’ve worked so hard for such a long time. I had the big monkey on my back of not winning in the United States. It was all everybody talked about and to do it in a major, there’s nothing better.”
In the first few rounds, especially on Saturday, the Country Club had a lot of players struggling to get a grab of the fast, and windy conditions in Brookline, Massachusetts. It was a stern test that he aced and in the process launched himself to the top of the leaderboard. In fact, Fitzpatrick was the third Englishman in the last 75 years to hold the 54-hole lead at the US Open and the first since Justin Rose in 2013 to win and the eighth from his country to be crowned the champion. With a score of 274, the Jack Nicklaus Gold medal for the winner of the 122nd US Open goes to Matt Fitzpatrick of England, who is a very popular winner with his history of triumphing here. It was an incredible Sunday of golf and a memorable ball-striking display from the champion. It is a fully deserved prize for a prospect who has been so close for so long.
The final leaderboard from a wild week at the 122nd US Open at The Country Club read as follows. Matt Fitzpatrick (-6), Scottie Scheffler (-5), Will Zalatoris (-5), Hideki Matsuyama (-3), Collin Morikawa (-2), Rory McIlroy (-2), Denny McCarthy (-1), Adam Hadwin (-1), Keegan Bradley (-1), Gary Woodland (even), Joel Dahmen (even).
Let’s hope we are served even more thrills at St. Andrews next month for the final major of the year. Before winding up, we have to let you know that the Father’s Day sale is still on at Blue Tees Golf. You can never go wrong with our critically acclaimed and universally well-rated rangefinders. Just try our flagship Series 3 Max rangefinder and you’ll know what other golfers are raving about.