US Open: Fitzpatrick wins first major after thrilling three-way fight

The 27-year-old athlete overtook the first racket of the world. 1 Scotty Sheffler and Will Zalatoris in one shot after an exciting roller coaster battle with the American duo in Brooklyn, Massachusetts.

Victory sees the world No. 18 made history as the second player – and the first non-American – to win both the US Amateur and the US Open at the same venue, winning at The Country Club in 2013. Jack Nicklaus is the only golfer to achieve the feat after triumphing at Pebble Beach in 1961 and 1972.

It also provides Fitzpatrick with a $3.15 million share of the $17.5 million total prize pool, the largest prize pool in major championship history.

His 68, 70, 68 in the first three rounds saw him arrive as co-leader along with Zalatoris Going into the deciding day, his third 68 was enough to take a 6-under-par one-stroke victory.
Fitzpatrick plays from the sixth tee.

“The feeling is out of this world,” Fitzpatrick told reporters.

“It’s so corny, but it’s what you dream about as a child. To achieve this, I can retire a happy man tomorrow.”

Born and raised in the Yorkshire city of Sheffield, Fitzpatrick couldn’t resist comparisons to his favorite football team, Sheffield United.

“It’s the same for me – no success or success expected,” he said.

“I feel like I certainly work hard for this, and where I grew up is the mentality of everyone around … the mentality of a loser. You work for what you get.”

More agony for Zalatoris

The small defeat was an even greater heartbreak for Zalatoris, who has finished second in three major tournaments in recent years. The 25-year-old missed the Masters by a single blow in 2021 before being defeated in the playoffs by Justin Thomas for the PGA Championship in May.

Despite losing by the same margin, Zalatoris said a small loss on Sunday would take longer than a loss at the Masters.

“It stings,” Zalatoris told reporters. “Obviously we are doing the right thing.

“I would pay a lot of money for an inch and a half and probably be a three-time world champion by this point.

“It’s especially painful, but it’s motivating. I have to keep doing what I’m doing. I know that sooner or later I will get one.”

Zalatoris hits from the 18th tee.

Meanwhile, Scheffler nearly missed the opportunity to improve on his impressive calendar year with a second big win, winning the Masters in April and adding three more PGA Tour wins.

With his two 3’s to 67 less than any of Fitzpatrick’s rounds, the world No. 1. I can only regret that on Saturday’s penultimate round, when he threw five shots on a four-hole stretch, he had to regret a gloomy, windy period.

“I hit one of the worst shots of my career this week and I hit one of the best shots, so it’s been a rollercoaster weekend,” Scheffler told reporters.

“Thanks Fitzy. He plays golf really well and definitely deserved to win this event.”

Hideki Matsuyama scored a brilliant, tournament-best 65 points to finish fourth, 3 behind, with Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy tied for fifth, one stroke behind.

Scheffler hits from the 16th tee.

Incredible last day

Doubles start times on the leaderboard were in ascending order up the leaderboard, and Scheffler’s brilliant start put him in first place in the world. 1 opens with the birds back to back to match the lead duo moments before they start.

Two holes later, the 25-year-old had already taken the lead at level 5 with another birdie at level four, although Fitzpatrick immediately countered with his own bird to keep up.

Scheffler’s blistering start contrasted sharply with that of Zalatoris, who, battling for par on the first hole, threw two consecutive scarecrows and tumbled down the leaderboard.

However, Zalatoris’ response was as resolute as his first fall. After two parats to stabilize the ship, the American fired four birds over the next six holes to track Scheffler and Fitzpatrick.

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Remarkably, despite all the ebb and flow of the throbbing final round, after 13 holes the picture was actually like the start of the day with co-leaders Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris leading Scheffler.

The trio would have been shocked if not for Fitzpatrick’s heroism on the 13th. Forty feet from the hole the Englishman made a stunning blow down the slope to equal the bird, marking the monstrous effort with a roar and punch.

The only difference from the nightly leaderboard was that Scheffler was now one hit behind instead of two. After crashing into the corner with five pairs and four birds, his back nine started at a snail’s pace with back-to-back scarecrows, leaving him 4 short overall.

Final fitting

Then a seismic shift. In 16th place, Zalatoris could only watch as Fitzpatrick landed a superb birdie shot to open a two-stroke lead that lasted a matter of minutes as Scheffler scored 17th and jumped his compatriot to second.

Nearly missing the opportunity to repeat the feat and equalize in 18th place, Scheffler put pressure on Fitzpatrick in the final pair, leveling his shot on the penultimate hole.

But, as if enjoying a casual round with friends, the Englishman smiled and laughed after batting the ball before pushing his lead to the final blow.

In the closing episode of a thrilling final day, Fitzpatrick appeared to be in trouble after his tee shot hit the bunker, but the Englishman roared back with an incredible sand kick to find the green.

Zalatoris responded with a superb approach of his own to ensure the major went to the final blow, but after Fitzpatrick bet on par, he was unable to conjure the birdie he needed to advance to the playoffs.

The respectful Fitzpatrick held himself back as he waited for his opponent to finish before Zalatoris knocked on the house to evoke scenes of unbridled joy – and many tears – among the Englishman and his crew.