Matt Fitzpatrick wins thrilling US Open; Canadian Adam Hadwin finishes T7

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BROOKLINE, Mass. — Matthew Fitzpatrick built a power game to take his golf to the next level, but on Sunday it was his trademark accuracy and his trusty putter that pushed him past playing partner Will Zalatoris and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler to win the USOpen.

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Fitzpatrick shot a final round two-under par 68 to win the 122nd running of the US Open at six-under par. He takes home $3.15 million US for the victory. It’s Fitzpatrick’s first major championship win and his first victory on American soil, after eight in Europe.

“The feeling’s out of this world,” he said. “It is so cliche, but it’s stuff you dream of as a kid. Yeah, to achieve it, I can retire a happy man tomorrow.”

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Fitzpatrick won the 2013 US Amateur at The Country Club at Brookline, and joins Jack Nicklaus as the only men to win both the US Amateur and the US Open at the same course.
“Just happy to be unbeaten around this place,” he said.

Playing in the final group, the Englishman was one shot behind playing partner Zalatoris when he rolled in a 48-foot birdie putt at the par-four 13th hole to tie the lead at five-under. Two holes later it was another Fitzpatrick birdie, this one from just inside 20 feet, that gave the 27-year-old the lead for good.

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The tournament wasn’t over though, after finding the fairway bunker off the 18th hole — the same trap that sunk defending champion Jon Rahm’s round a day earlier — Fitzpatrick hit the shot of the tournament, a nine iron that cleared the lip and found the 72nd green, where he would make par.

“I’ll be honest, one thing that I’ve really been struggling with this year is fairway bunker play,” Fitzpatrick said. “I just felt I had to hit the green. If I could hit the green, if I made par, it puts pressure on Will.”

Zalatoris had a birdie putt to tie that seemed sure to drop until it slid by on the high side of the hole, clinching the victory for Fitzpatrick.

“I’ve always been competitive, and that comes from my dad as well,” Fitzpatrick said on Father’s Day. “I absolutely love winning. I don’t care who it is, but I just want to beat everyone. Although it doesn’t come across, I don’t show it much because I like to be quite reserved. I just love beating everyone. It’s as simple as that.”

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Two groups behind the leaders, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler — who has made a habit this year of beating people — flew out of the gate Sunday afternoon with four birdies in his first six holes to take the lead. Scheffler was playing alongside Adam Hadwin, and the Canadian struggled with his swing early in the round.

“It was pretty ugly early, I didn’t have any rhythm, a couple snap hooks with the driver,” Hadwin said after his round. “There was definitely some nerves in there for sure. I haven’t been in this position before … I’m playing with the No. 1 player in the world, the guy’s won four times already this year and the Masters, and he got off on a tear.”

Scheffler would eventually miss a birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have got him into a playoff with Fitzpatrick at six-under, but settled for a second-place tie with Zalatoris at five-under.

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After his round, Scheffler commented on Fitzpatrick’s increased distance off the tee, joking that maybe he was on the Bryson DeChambeau plan.

“I’ve done my drug test, and it was negative, so we’re all good,” Fitzpatrick said after being told of the exchange.
The slight Brit with braces on his teeth has actually been working on gaining distance since 2020, using a training aid called The Stack which he says has done wonders. Fitzpatrick was paired with Dustin Johnson over the first two days and found himself hitting it past the famously big hitter.

“There’s a bit of a mentality thing that when you’re hitting it past people, it’s quite nice,” Fitzpatrick said.
Behind Scheffler and Zalatoris, Hideki Matsuyama (65) finished alone in fourth at three-under, one shot ahead of Rory McIlroy (69) and Collin Morikawa (66).

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It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for McIlroy, who came to Brookline off a win at the RBC Canadian Open and at the center of the war between his PGA Tour and Greg Norman’s renegade LIV Golf series. In the end, McIlroy’s quest to end an eight-year major drought will continue.

“The game’s there, another top five in a major,” he said after his round. “I guess it doesn’t really mean anything. … I have to stay patient at this point because if I just keep putting myself in position, sooner or later it’s going to be my day.”

First-round leader Hadwin finally settled into his final round and, thanks to his putter, his rough opening stretch only cost him a single stroke from where he started the day. Two birdies and two bogeys over his final four holes meant the Abbotsford, BC native finished at one-under par in a tie for seventh with Keegan Bradley (71) and Denny McCarthy (68).

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“The golf course was a little softer and the wind kind of died down and based on the way playing I wasn’t ready to go attack to move up the leaderboard,” he said, before adding proudly, “I’m under par at to US Open for four days.”

It’s the first top-10 at a major for the 34-year-old PGA Tour winner and two-time Presidents Cup player. It will earn him a trip back to this championship next year and is also a confirmation that the work he has put in with swing coach Mark Blackburn over the past couple of years has him on the right path.

“I do think another win is coming at some point,” he said.

Mackenzie Hughes, the only other Canadian to make the cut, finished tied for 24th at plus-four. Hughes began Sunday birdieing two of his first four holes, but shot an even-par 70.

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Finishing nearly two hours ahead of the leaders after shooting the low round of the day, Matsuyama might have been hoping for a US Open disaster among the leaders.

It wasn’t going to happen.

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Not on this Sunday, not after overnight rain extinguished much of the fire in these Brookline greens. For a few hours in the third round, players got a taste of how The Country Club’s tiny, slopey putting surfaces would play if the USGA pushed them to the edge. The question of whether the eleven masochistic governing body would push them right over the edge in the final round was taken out of their hands by Mother Nature as players slept.

We’ll never know what the USGA had planned.

With just nine players finishing under par this week, Brookline certainly provided a stern test, but it was a fair one that allowed golfers to share the spotlight with the tournament and the historic golf course. Whether that’s for better or for worse depends on whether you prefer your US Opens to be action movies or horror flicks.

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