BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — Matt Fitzpatrick of England is once again champion at the Country Club, this time with the biggest of trophies.
An American amateur champion in 2013. The US Open champion on Sunday.
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In a three-way battle at Brookline that went to the wire, Fitzpatrick took control with a nice break and an even better shot on the 15th hole for a two-shot swing. It was even more clutch from a fairway bunker on the 18 that set the par for a 2-under 68.
Victory wasn’t assured until Will Zalatoris, who showed an incredible response to every mistake, took a knee when his 15-foot birdie putt on 18 just slid down the left side of the cup. Zalatoris was a runner-up in the second straight major.
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler never recovered from back-to-back bogeys to start the back nine. He had a 25-foot birdie chance on 18 that narrowly missed and left him one behind.
Fitzpatrick is the second man to win a US Amateur and a US Open on the same course, joining Jack Nicklaus who pulled it off at Pebble Beach. Juli Inkster won the US Women’s Amateur and the US Women’s Open at Prairie Dunes.
In addition to the $3.15 million in prize money, Fitzpatrick had the Jack Nicklaus Gold Medal wrapped around his neck. It moved up to 10th in the FedExCup rankings.
Fitzpatrick, who briefly played at Northwestern before turning pro, won for the eighth time in the world, and it was his first on the PGA TOUR.
Fitzpatrick said he earned membership at the Bear’s Club in Florida earlier this year, the course Nicklaus built.
“He treated me a little rough at the start of the year. He said, ‘Finally. Congratulations on winning in the United States,'” Fitzpatrick said with a laugh.
And then slightly lifting the trophy, Fitzpatrick sent a funny message to Nicklaus: “Jack, I won a second time.”