Sports · June 22, 2022

Matt Fitzpatrick celebrates the “special” victory of the US Open



CNN

English golfer Matt Fitzpatrick had always imagined what winning his first major would be like, but reality surpassed all expectations on Sunday when he clinched the 122nd US Open.

The 27-year-old overtook American duo Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris by one blow to secure victory after a final day of roller coasters.

“It was incredible,” Fitzpatrick told CNN Sport’s Don Riddell after lifting the trophy.

“It’s just like a great release, you finish the tournament and you win and you realize you have achieved one of your lifelong goals.

“Just the kind of emotion it floods and it’s just such a special day for me.”

Seven-time European Tour winner Fitzpatrick was forced to wait for his first major, but in the end he won it in style.

Despite the windy spells that wreaked havoc on the challenging par-70 course, Fitzpatrick never scored above par in round four.

His 68, 70, 68 in the first three rounds saw him arrive as co-leader alongside Zalatoris towards the decisive day, where his third 68 was enough to claim a one-shot win at six under par.

Like any great sporting achievement, sacrifices had to be made along the way, but Fitzpatrick says all the hard work and dedication was worth it.

“I just want to win. Whatever it takes, for me, is what I have to do, ”she added, laughing at how she recently hosted a bachelor party but she didn’t attend as she was preparing for the US Open.

“I feel like what gives me the edge over other people is having that dedication, going out when no one else is and working hard and that’s what brought me to this level.”

Fitzpatrick celebrates with caddy Billy Foster after winning the US Open.

In addition to securing a share of $ 3.15 million in the total prize of $ 17.5 million, the largest pot in the history of a major league, Fitzpatrick also equaled a very special record.

The world no. 18 is only the second player – and the first non-American – to win both the US Amateurs and the US Open at the same venue, having won at The Country Club in 2013.

Jack Nicklaus is the only other golfer to have achieved the feat following his Pebble Beach triumphs in 1961 and 1972.

“He’s fantastic. The best golfer of all time. Sharing any accomplishments he’s made is incredible,” said Fitzpatrick, beaming.

“I’m so proud of myself to be able to achieve this and when you share records with Jack, it’s really special.”

Fitzpatrick was born and raised in the English city of Sheffield and credits himself with raising and close a circle of family and friends for keeping him balanced and down to earth.

His mental strength was on display at The Country Club last week, as were his familiar quirks.

Fitzpatrick does things differently than many golfers: he drops the flag when he puts and takes notes after each shot he takes.

Fitzpatrick watches his sixth tee shot during the final round.

Every stroke aside from his final putt to secure the US Open.

“I didn’t even write down how close it was, but I remember it, so I’ll do it later,” he laughed.

The next big goal for Fitzpatrick is the upcoming Open Championship in St Andrews, Scotland, and the Englishman envisions adding to his collection.

“I’m happy with one [major] but two would be sky high, “he said, adding that he is looking forward to celebrating his victory.

“This is the greatest achievement of my career, ever. I will enjoy spending time with family and friends. Like I said, it’s just a really crazy special moment. ”