Everything you need to know from a thrilling final round of the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club, Brookline.
Matt made his Major Championship breakthrough with his first professional victory in the United States, experienced caddie Billy got his elusive first Major too and Will claimed another Major runner-up finish.
Here is everything you need to know from a tense final round in Boston.
Breakthrough at Brookline
Nine years after winning the U.S. Amateur at Brookline, England’s Matt Fitzpatrick is a U.S. Open champion. The 27-year-old from Sheffield carded a closing two-under 68 to finish six under par and one shot clear of playing partner Will Zalatoris and World Number One Scottie Scheffler, who had earlier hit the front with four birdies in his opening six holes. His maiden Major title – and first professional victory in the United States – owed much to his immense talent, but even more so his strength of character. On a tense day in which the lead exchanged hands several times, Fitzpatrick matched fearless ball striking with brilliant execution with the putter. Two brilliant birdie putts at the 13th and 15th from Fitzpatrick proved telling moments as he withstood pressure from Zalatoris and Scheffler. After finding a fairway bunker off the tee at the 72nd hole, he played a superb towering cut shot onto the green. The fearless nature of the shot brought back memories of Sandy Lyle's seven iron from the bunker on the 18th as he won the 1988 Masters. A closing par saw Fitzpatrick become just the fourth Englishman in the last century to win the U.S. Open and first player from his country to win a Major since Danny Willet at the 2016 Masters. His victory also saw him become just the second man after Jack Nicklaus to win the U.S. Amateur title and U.S. Open at the same venue. "The feeling's out of this world,” he said. “It is so cliche, but it's stuff you dream of as a kid." Well done, Fitzy!
Zalatoris comes close again
It was more major heartbreak for American Will Zalatoris. Just a month on from his play-off defeat to Justin Thomas in the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills, the 25-year-old finished runner-up at a Major for the third time in his career. Yet to win on the PGA TOUR, Zalatoris began the final day tied for the lead alongside Fitzpatrick at four under, but he lost ground with bogeys at both the second and third. Despite the nervous start, he recovered to birdie four of the next six holes as he took a two-shot lead onto the 12th tee. Zalatoris bogeyed both the 12th and par-five 15th after he missed the fairway, with Fitzpatrick able to birdie the latter as he took a two-shot lead. The 2021 Masters runner-up kept himself firmly in contention with a bounce back birdie after a pinpoint tee shot into the par-three 16th. However, with the chance to force a play-off, he saw his 14-foot birdie putt at the 18th slide agonisingly past to the left as he slumped to his knees. "This one, in particular, hurts pretty hard," said Zalatoris. The 25-year-old did get some consolation, however, as he moved to the top of the DP World Tour Rankings, ahead of Rory McIlroy in second and Fitzpatrick in third.
Emotional triumph for caddie Foster
Billy Foster is one of the most recognised caddies in golf. He has worked alongside Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjørn among others, and has endured near misses along the way. Now, nearly 40 years into his career and four years after teaming up with Fitzpatrick in 2018, the Englishman can celebrate his first Major triumph. “It means everything to me,” said Foster. “I always thought he was good enough to win a Major. This week he's played incredible golf." The emotion was clear to see as Foster hid his face under his cap after Zalatoris’ birdie effort rolled past, before he grasped at the flag on the 18th green, pulled it toward him and gave it a kiss.
Positives to take for Rory
There was no fifth Major title for Rory McIlroy, but a closing 69 – which included five birdies – ensured the Northern Irishman secured his fourth top ten finish at the U.S. Open. Most notably, it was also the first time in his career he has finished in the top-ten in each of a season’s first three Majors. The former World Number One waited around to offer his congratulations to European Ryder Cup teammate Fitzpatrick behind the 18th green. “All that work pays off,” the former World Number One could be heard saying. “I’m so happy for you.” Classy touch. “I played well enough to give myself a chance to win,” McIlroy told reporters after his final round. “I didn't get the job done, but I'm closer than I have been in a while, which is good.”
Migliozzi finishes week with a flourish
Italy’s Guido Migliozzi finished his second appearance at the U.S. Open in style. The two-time DP World Tour winner carded an eagle and five birdies in a brilliant final round of 66, bettered only by Hideki Matsuyama. After finishing in a tie for fourth at Torrey Pines last year, Migliozzi appears to relish the Major stage.