From the sand, on the left side of the 18th fairway, Fitzpatrick forged the shot that would likely evoke memories when this troubled 122nd US Open becomes a matter of a distant past. A stroke ahead of 6 under par, locked in place on the hole that all golfers and all golf analysts tell you not to go, Fitzpatrick launched a relentless to the green as if it had emerged from the red grass.
It landed there and stopped 19 feet away, so when he two-putted for par and then saw Will Zalatori barely miss a 14-footer who wanted a draw, Fitzpatrick, 27, became the first Englishman to win the US Open since Justin Rose in 2013 and only the other since Tony Jacklin in 1970. He won by one shot over Zalatoris and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who continued to sling performances on a pile of those he has amassed over a four-month period. , four-winner binge since February.
Fitzpatrick did so after a day of gripping competition in which he, Zalatoris and Scheffler parted ways for a three-man match at the top, where they each took the lead at one point. He did so to refer Zalatoris, the 25-year-old usual candidate in major tournaments, to a third-place finish and a sixth-top 10 finish in just nine attempts at the big four. And he did it on the same track that he won the American Amateur in 2013 as an 18-year-old, an experience that he felt gave a real advantage this week on a track that rarely has majors. It has hosted the US Open in 1913, 1963, 1988 and 2022, the latter a wildly successful event on a tough track that became almost as much a star as its players.
The moment Fitzpatrick saw Zalatori’s miss so narrowly, he also had his first victory on the PGA Tour. It came as a career that flourished against who-knows-where, with a world ranking that expected to zoom up from its current No. 18. It came as another straight top-five ranking in the majors, after his fifth place, which was shown last month at. PGA Championship in Tulsa, where he failed to threaten Sunday.
It came through two hell of a hassle.
The first happened at No. 15, when Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris were tied at 5 under, and Fitzpatrick teetered wide right into one of the deals where a player has to separate the crowd just to take a shot. Well, he drilled it through the masses, too high and eager to hurt anyone, while it was high and eager enough to reach the green and grab almost 19 feet from the cup.
His birdie from there rolled right down the boulevard without much doubt while Zalatoris played from the rough on the other side of the fairway and made a bogey. Now the two shots stood apart. Zalatoris remedied it a bit with a brilliant birdie from nine feet on par-3 No. 16 to add pressure, and they came to No. 18 with Scheffler just finished at 5 under after his 67, with Zalatoris at 5 under and Fitzpatrick at 6. below .
Fitzpatrick immediately hooked it into the sand.
Then he struck out wildly.
This is a development story and will be updated.