Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick holds on to win US Open for first major title

THE 2013 US Amateur featured a cluster of young players who were about to grow up and become the best golfers in the world: Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, and Xander Schauffele.

Matt Fitzpatrick beat them all that week at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. As if it were written in the stars, the Englishman came back to the same course nine years later and did it all over again.

Fitzpatrick returned to the site of his US Amateur victory and claimed his first major championship, shooting a 2-under-par 68 on Sunday to secure a one-shot win at the US Open.

Fitzpatrick, 27, posted a 6-under 274 for the week, beating Will Zalatoris and Scheffler by a stroke. Fitzpatrick is the first player from England to win a US Open since Justin Rose in 2013; it also counts as his first PGA Tour win after previously claiming seven titles on the DP World Tour.

Fitzpatrick outdueled Will Zalatoris down the stretch with crucial birdies at the par-4 13th and 15th holes. His drive at No. 18 found a bunker down the left side, but he managed to land his second shot on the green just 12 feet from the pin.

After Fitzpatrick two-putted for par, Zalatoris had a birdie putt to force a playoff that missed a hair to the left.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan shot the low round of the week, a 5-under 65, to take fourth place at 3 under. Collin Morikawa (66) and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (69) tied for fifth at 2 under.

Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, wrapped up with a final-round 67. He charged ahead early with four birdies in his first six holes to take the lead at 6 under, where Fitzpatrick eventually matched him.

Denny McCarthy (68), Keegan Bradley (71) and Canada’s Adam Hadwin (71) tied for seventh at 1 under. Gary Woodland (69) and Joel Dahmen (71) finished at even par and tied for 10th. — Reuters

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