Matt Fitzpatrick used an incredible approach shot on the 18th hole to scramble for par and avoid a playoff, holding on to a 1-shot lead to win the US Open on Sunday.
Fitzpatrick shot a 2-under 68 on Sunday, finishing at six-under-par for the tournament, one shot ahead of both Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler.
Fitzpatrick wins again at The Country Club
Zalatoris had the opportunity to tie Fitzpatrick with a birdie putt on 18, but his attempt went just left of the hole to give Fitzpatrick the win.
Fitzpatrick hit his tee shot into a bunker left of the fairway on the 18th, putting a playoff – or even a loss – into play. However, he hit his 9-iron around a lip in the middle of the bunker, carried the green, and left himself an 18-foot birdie putt, stunning the crowd surrounding the final hole.
Fitzpatrick became the 13th man to win both the US Amateur and the US Open, and only the second to do both on the same course after Jack Nicklaus accomplished that feat at Pebble Beach.
“The feeling’s out of this world,” Fitzpatrick said after his win. “It is so cliché, but it’s stuff you dream of as a kid. Yeah, to achieve it, I can retire a happy man tomorrow.”
Fitzpatrick didn’t come in as one of the US Open favorites, fetching odds of about +3000 at most major sportsbooks ahead of the tournament.
On the other hand, Zalatoris was a +2500 pick at DraftKings Sportsbook, while Scheffler started at +1400. Both were in the mix right up until the final hole.
Zalatoris narrowly misses out … again
Scheffler was in the group ahead of Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris. He carded a five-under, taking the clubhouse lead until Fitzpatrick saved par on the 18th hole a few minutes later. That left only Zalatoris with a chance to force a playoff with a 14-foot birdie putt.
The 25-year-old Zalatoris missed the putt. In the process, he locked in his third second-place finish in nine career major starts. He has yet to win a PGA Tour event.
“This one, in particular, hurts pretty hard,” Zalatoris told reporters. “It stings, obviously. To have three runner-ups so far in my career in majors.”
Zalatoris now holds runner-up finishes at three majors. The only one missing from his unusual grand slam is the Open Championship, which begins July 14 at St. Andrews.
Rory McIlroy stands as the favorite at the Open Championship after tying for fifth at the US Open this past weekend. McIlroy has already won the tournament once, in 2014, and DraftKings sees him as the +900 pick to do so again in 2022.
Jon Rahm follows McIlroy at +1000 to win the Open Championship, with Scheffler (+1200) the third choice. Fitzpatrick is +2000 to win back-to-back majors, while Zalatoris comes in as a +2500 pick to finally top the leaderboard.