Matt Fitzpatrick Player Profile And What's In The Bag
IF YOU are going to win your first professional tournament on American soil, you may as well do it in a major.
Matt Fitzpatrick became just the third Englishman in 52 years after Tony Jacklin and Justin Rose to win the US Open, and he did it in style, holding off a world class field.
Fitzpatrick shot a two-under 68 for a six-under total to beat world number one Scottie Scheffler (67) and Will Zalatoris (69) in a gripping battle that went to the final hole.
"It's what you grow up dreaming of," said Fitzpatrick. "It's something I've worked so hard for for such a long time. I've got to give myself credit: I had so much patience."
The shot that will live long in the memory was the one he played from a fairway bunker on the 18th hole. Fitzpatrick launched a high cut at the green, the ball landing 20 feet beyond the flag and spinning a couple of feet closer.
A two-putt par was then enough to spark scenes of sheer jubilation as his mum, dad and brother embraced him on the green.
Sheffield-born Fitzpatrick, who also won the US Amateur title at Brookline back in 2013 joins Jack Nicklaus as the only two men to win both that and the US Open at the same venue - Nicklaus achieved the feat at Pebble Beach.
He is also the first non-American to win both titles.
Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris were both in contention at the PGA Championship and despite neither of them having won on the PGA Tour before this week, they did not flinch during a titanic struggle on a tense final day.
Masters champion Scheffler, defending champion Jon Rahm and world number three Rory McIlroy were all within striking distance of Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris at the start of the final round in Massachusetts.
But while Rahm and McIlroy's challenges faltered, Scheffler powered into the lead with four birdies in his first six holes as he looked to become just the sixth man to win the Masters and US Open in the same year, and only the second man after Tiger Woods to win this major while sitting top of the world rankings.
Fitzpatrick answered with birdies on the third and fifth holes while a nervy looking Zalatoris had two bogeys to slip four shots behind the leading duo.
However, two stunning irons shots led to successive birdies on the sixth and seventh holes to spark 25-year-old Zalatoris into life, and when Scheffler hit trouble around the turn and Fitzpatrick missed two short putts, all of a sudden it was Zalatoris who led by two.
A huge turning point came on the 13th, though, when Fitzpatrick holed a 48-foot birdie putt to tie Zalatoris, who made a clutch par save from 12 feet.
Scheffler was always lurking, but the final pair looked determined that one of them would become the 14th first-time major winner to lift the US Open trophy in the past 18 years - it was just a case of who would land that knockout blow.
On the 15th, Fitzpatrick moved two clear when he made a birdie and Zalatoris a bogey, but the American cut that advantage in half with a birdie on 17 after yet another laser of an iron shot.
More drama came on the final hole. Fitzpatrick hit his tee shot into a fairway bunker but the Englishman escaped brilliantly and although a two-putt par left Zalatoris needing a birdie to force a play-off, the Texan was unable to hole his effort.
Who Is Matt Fitzpatrick?
He has twice played for Europe in the Ryder Cup without scoring a point. He won the US Amateur at Brookline in 2013. He is 5ft 10in and was born in Sheffield in 1994.
He has won eight times on the DP World Tour. The US Open is his first victory on American soil. He has had seven top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season.
He picked up $3.15m for winning the US Open. He began the week ranked 18th in the world but ended it in 10th place.
What's In Matt Fitzpatrick's Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange 65 TX
3-wood: Ping G425 Max (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange 75 TX
7-wood: Ping G410 (20.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 TX
Irons: Ping i210 (4), Ping S55 (5-W)
Shafts: Ping CFS X (115G)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (52-08F, 56-08M, 60-08M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Putter: Bettinardi DASS BB1 Flow Tour Dept
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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