Matt Fitzpatrick, foreign conquest at the US Open


If there is a golf course in the world that is characterized by telling peculiar stories and turning its winners into legends, it is The Country Golflocated in Brookline, Massachusetts, where in 1913 a 20-year-old named Francis Ouimet wrote the first feat by beating the number 1 in the world at that time, harry vardonto win the US Open title and pave the way for more such stories.

More than 100 years away, the perimeter of The Country Golf lived a feat again, this time under the name of the British Matt Fitzpatrick (Sheffield, England; September 1, 1994), who became the first golfer not born in the United States to win the US Open both at the major level and in amateur category.

Fitzpatrick entered Sunday tied for first place on the leaderboard with the American Will Zalatoris, another of the new faces of golf that is pushing to reach the top. Both had been in charge of stealing prominence from stars like Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy since the first three days of the US Open 2022 and so they fought a final battle in which Scottie Scheffler also slipped.

A shaky start from Zalatoris saw him play the first three holes in twos. Fitzpatrick and Scheffler, by contrast, looked inspired. The Briton birdied the third to take the lead at five under, while Scheffler joined him with a birdie in the fifth. After Fitzpatrick drove the green on that same par he went up to minus six, while Zalatoris at this point was four adrift.

A frantic finish by the trident Fitzpatrick, Zalatoris and Scheffler at the 2022 US Open was hardly surprising, as statistics showed that the previous three editions held at the Brookline course had all ended in playoff format in 1913, 1963 and 1988.

Fitzpatrick, at 27 years old, concluded with a card of 68 shots (-2) and a cumulative score of 274 (-6), one ahead of Zalatoris and Scheffler, number one in the world ranking. In this way, the British raised his first victory on the PGA Tour and consolidated the figure that he had erected nine years ago in this same field, when he won the US Open amateur level.

“It’s what you grow up dreaming of winning and I’ve worked really hard for a long time. I had the great weight on my back of not having won in the United States, it was the only thing that everyone talked about and what better than doing it in a major, there is nothing better, “said Fitzpatrick after winning the crown on Sunday afternoon.

Fitzpatrick, 18th in the world ranking, is the first golfer to open his record with a title of Grand Slam since Danny Willett did it by winning the Augusta Masters in 2016. It was the icing on the cake for a professional career that began in 2014 and where he has won eight championships on the European Tour and one more on the Asian Tour.

But the narrative of success has haunted Fitzpatrick since he was a teenager and reaffirmed him in his adulthood, with a field that will undoubtedly remain with him forever in his memory and in his heart.

The first time was an 18-year-old hoping to make his mark at one of America’s biggest amateur golf events: the Country Club’s US Open Amateur Championship in 2013. On that occasion, Fitzpatrick defeated Australian Oliver Goss to win the title, becoming the first Englishman to win the event in 102 years.

Now, with more than a decade of recharged experience, he earned his first victory in a major golf championship and on the PGA Tour with a fourth-round 68 that made him six under par for the tournament, in addition to pocketing $3.15 million. Dollars.

Furthermore, the victory of Matt Fitzpatrick means the first title of an Englishman in the US Open since Justin Rose did it in 2013, when Fitzpatrick was winning that same event at the amateur level. In total, the English are the second nationality with the most trophies in this tournament with eight, behind only the Scots with 13 and the locals, the Americans, with a total of 86.

The 2013 US Open Amateur at Brookline was Fitzpatrick’s first real foray into American golf and he had been looking forward to returning to the course on a major stage ever since, assuming that participation, while still in his teens, gave him the push to consecrate the figure that raised the title this June 19.

“That victory opened a lot of doors for me in my professional career, it was something special, really (…) I definitely feel like I have a little more confidence going into the week than some of the players having played there and successfully before. It gives you that confidence boost going into the week. Although you still have to hit the punches, knowing what you have achieved there in the past is a great help,” Fitzpatrick said before starting the US Open 2022where he won his first Grand Slam victory.

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