US Open Golf 2022: Matt Fitzpatrick Edges Will Zalatoris for 1st Career Major Title

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 19, 2022

BROOKLINE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 19: Matt Fitzpatrick of England plays his shot from the fourth tee during the final round of the 122nd U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club on June 19, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Matt Fitzpatrick is a major champion for the first time.

The 27-year-old won the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, on Sunday.

Fitzpatrick finished at six under, one shot better than Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler. He carded a two-under 68 in the final round.


Breakthrough at Brookline 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏆<a href="https://twitter.com/MattFitz94?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MattFitz94</a> is a <a href="https://twitter.com/usopengolf?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@USOpenGolf</a> champion. <a href="https://t.co/r4OhJIGFVE">pic.twitter.com/r4OhJIGFVE</a>

A two-stroke swing between Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris on the 15th hole was the day's turning point. They both hit their tee shots into the rough, but their fortunes diverged on their second shots.

Fitzpatrick landed onto the green and left himself with a 19-foot birdie putt. Zalatoris found the sand. One birdie and one bogey later, Fitzpatrick was two shots clear in first place.

U.S. Open (USGA) @usopengolf

Two shots in front and the family loves it! 👏<a href="https://twitter.com/MattFitz94?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MattFitz94</a> leads the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a> with three holes to play. <a href="https://t.co/y3M4LVCfil">pic.twitter.com/y3M4LVCfil</a>

With one hole to play, Fitzpatrick's cushion had shrunk to one shot. That at least afforded him some margin for error as he made the one mistake he could ill afford on No. 18. He hooked his tee shot into a fairway bunker.

Knowing a par was still enough to likely avoid a playoff, Fitzpatrick unleashed a masterful approach that put him only 18 feet from the cup. He two-putted his way to par to remain at six under.

That left the door cracked slightly open for Zalatoris, who was standing 14 feet away from a birdie opportunity. His putt missed left by centimeters, securing the title for Fitzpatrick.

U.S. Open (USGA) @usopengolf

The moment <a href="https://twitter.com/MattFitz94?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MattFitz94</a> became a major champion! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/YveBUjjfL4">pic.twitter.com/YveBUjjfL4</a>

2022 U.S. Open Leaderboard

1. Matt Fitzpatrick (-6)

T-2. Scottie Scheffler (-5)

T-2. Will Zalatoris (-5)

4. Hideki Matsuyama (-3)

T-5. Collin Morikawa (-2)

T-5. Rory McIlroy (-2)

T-7. Adam Hadwin (-1)

T-7. Denny McCarthy (-1)

T-7. Keegan Bradley (-1)

T-10. Gary Woodland (E)

T-10. Joel Dahmen (E)

Full leaderboard available at PGATour.com

The Country Club has been unforgiving all tournament, and the top six golfers were separated by two shots heading into the final round. The stage was set for a dramatic finish Sunday.

With the top performers hitting the halfway mark, the U.S. Open had turned into a three-horse race between Fitzpatrick, Scheffler and Zalatoris. Fitzpatrick was sitting at six under, with Scheffler and Zalatoris tied at five under. Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama and Denny McCarthy were all six shots back of Fitzpatrick and quickly running out of time to improve their scores.

A poor approach on No. 17 was costly for Matsuyama. His shot didn't reach the green and rolled into the rough as he eventually settled for a par. Things would've gotten a little more interesting if he had walked up to the 18th tee at four under.

As his back nine got underway, Scheffler was trending in the wrong direction following a strong start to the round. Through six holes, he gained four strokes to move to six under overall. But back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 dropped him to four under.

History was repeating itself one day after the 2022 Masters champion went four over on the back nine.

Ben Volin @BenVolin

Two days in a row that the back 9 chews up Scottie Scheffler, especially the tiny little 11th hole

U.S. Open (USGA) @usopengolf

Back-to-back bogeys for Scottie Scheffler. <br><br>He falls to -4. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/ldVd7bzD6X">pic.twitter.com/ldVd7bzD6X</a>

Scheffler quickly had company in Fitzpatrick, who also bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes.

Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband

These Matt Fitzpatrick fumbles in the 4th round are a spectacular tribute to the many Northwestern Football 4th quarters we’ve both watched.

Zalatoris had the opportunity to tighten his grip on a two-shot lead but ceded more ground instead. His drive on No. 12 started left but sliced right, well into the heavy stuff alongside the fairway. That put him behind the eight ball, yet he still nearly saved par, as his putt was on line with the cup before veering left at the last moment.

Fitzpatrick capitalized on Zalatoris' errant tee shot. He was on the money with a 48-foot birdie putt to grab a share of first place at five under.


Clutch from 48 feet away 😤<a href="https://twitter.com/MattFitz94?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MattFitz94</a> is tied for the lead at 5-under.<a href="https://t.co/Xh79Ffvrj8">pic.twitter.com/Xh79Ffvrj8</a>

Kyle Porter @KylePorterCBS

Win or lose today, the last two majors have swayed me on Fitzpatrick. Couldn’t be more impressed with his transformation.

Scheffler, meanwhile, was only one back yet couldn't build any positive momentum. When something finally broke right for him, it was effectively a wash because his birdie on No. 17 was only moments after Fitzpatrick birdied No. 15.

Rory McIlroy struggled with consistency in the final round, as he tallied three birdies and three bogeys on the front nine. He did, however, get back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15, helping him finish in a tie for fifth.

TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, is the next stop for the PGA Tour, with the Travelers Championship teeing off Thursday.

Soon enough, the next major tournament will be right around the corner. The Open Championship gets underway July 14 at the legendary St. Andrews Links in Scotland.