England’s Matt Fitzpatrick has captured his first major title by winning the US Open in dramatic fashion, making spectacular shots as rivals crumbled under final-round pressure.
After a thrilling three-man fight down the back nine at The Country Club on Sunday, Fitzpatrick fired a two-under-par 68 to finish on six-under-par 274 and defeat Americans Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris by one stroke.
“I’m going to say it because I won but I hit some unbelievable shots coming down the stretch and that’s what I work for,” Fitzpatrick said.
With perseverance, Fitzpatrick delivered his first professional US victory for a long-sought major trophy. “It’s what you grow up dreaming of,” he said.
“It’s something I’ve worked so hard for for such a long time. There was a big monkey on my back trying to win over here and everyone, all they ever talked about was that. To do it as a major for my first win, there’s nothing better.”
‘One of the best shots’
World number 18 Fitzpatrick, who won the 2013 US Amateur at The Country Club, matched Jack Nicklaus as the only US Open and US Amateur winners on the same course, the US legend doing the double at Pebble Beach.
“It means the world,” Fitzpatrick said of the achievement.
The 27-year-old from Sheffield, who shared fifth last month at the PGA Championship for his best prior major result, sank a stunning 48-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole to grab a share of the lead.
After birdies by top-ranked Masters champion Scheffler at 17 and Zalatoris on 16, Fitzpatrick clung to a one-stroke lead at the 18th tee.
The Englishman sent his tee shot into a left fairway bunker, but blasted a magnificent approach to 18 feet and two putted for par.
“I hit a 3-wood into the bunker and if there was one shot I’ve struggled with this year that I do not want it’s a fairway bunker shot,” said Fitzpatrick.
“I guess ability just took over. It’s one of the best shots I’ve hit of all time. When I saw it leave the sand and felt the strike I couldn’t have been happier.”
Zalatoris had a 14-foot birdie putt to force a playoff but when he missed, the record $3.15 million top prize went to Fitzpatrick.
“Matt’s shot on 18 is going to be shown probably for the rest of US Open history,” Zalatoris said.