2022 US Open leaderboard, winner: Matt Fitzpatrick breaks through for first major championship, PGA Tour win

2022 US Open leaderboard, winner: Matt Fitzpatrick breaks through for first major championship, PGA Tour win

2022 US Open leaderboard, winner: Matt Fitzpatrick breaks through for first major championship, PGA Tour win

The world’s second-highest-ranked golfer without a PGA Tour career win finally claimed on a Sunday while also breaking through the higher echelons of golf with his first major championship. Matt Fitzpatrick won the 2022 US Open on Sunday at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, with two birdies and no bogeys on the last seven holes to finish the tournament 6 under.

Fitzpatrick, 27, defeated his 54-hole co-leader Will Zalatoris and 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler by one stroke to hoist the trophy.

Having previously won the 2013 US Amateur at The Country Club, Fitzpatrick added to his USGA tally in dramatic fashion with a win at the 122nd US Open. In addition, he joined Jack Nicklaus and Julie Inkster as the only players to win the two championships at the same venue, cementing his place in the annals of golf history.

Fitzpatrick, the number 18 on the Official World Golf Rankings, broke through on Sunday after what had already been a strong season at major championships. The Englishman previously finished T14 at the Masters in April and T5 at the PGA Championship last month.

Still, it hadn’t been an easy road for Fitzpatrick thus far, and his last round at The Country Club was a perfect summary of this. Whether he would choose to admit it or not, doubts had to creep in as he missed opportunities to win events over the years.

Fitzpatrick, a player who has always thrived for his combination of accuracy and putting skill, came in 2022 as a completely revamped player. That was clear this week as the name of the game for Fitzpatrick was consistency. While others went out with remarkably low rounds early in the tournament, on Friday he shot 2 under over the first 36 holes with a par 70 before posting a second 68 on Moving Day to take the co-lead.

Fitzpatrick was up and down the front nine Sunday, and two bogeys to start the back made it look like he’d be on the outside of a trophy show again.

A short miss on the par-4 10th was followed by an unexplained three-putt on the short par-3 11th. A quick three-stroke swing with Zalatoris breathing down his neck could have staggered Fitzpatrick. A career full of close calls could have added another, but instead of withering, Fitzpatrick began to flourish.

An emphatic birdie on the par-4 13th put Fitzpatrick back in a share of the lead with Zalatoris at 5 under. Two holes later, after missing the fairway, Fitzpatrick hit one of the best iron shots of the day to create a birdie look on the long par-4 15th. With Zalatoris in for bogey, Fitzpatrick took in his third and briefly grabbed a two-stroke lead.

Although Zalatoris and Scheffler both came within one shot after scoring birdies, Fitzpatrick never gave up.

After trading with Zalatoris on the accessible 17th pars, Fitzpatrick went into the 72nd hole with a one-stroke lead and made the one mistake you couldn’t make when he found the fairway bunker off the tee. He took it on the chin and followed the miscue with a career-defining shot on the green that earned him his US Open victory. Fitzpatrick missed an 18-foot birdie putt to take the win, but Zalatoris narrowly missed a similar 14-foot putt as Fitzpatrick recorded his third 68 of the tournament and first PGA Tour win.

The US Open is often and rightly described as “the most difficult test in golf”. Most think this is the case because of the circumstances. They certainly play a part, but the mental challenge posed by the USGA far exceeds them. Entering the US Open is truly a roller coaster of emotions, and one small misstep can be one’s ultimate downfall.

Fitzpatrick had quite a few mistakes on Sunday, but he took the punches like a champ. In the process, he shed the name he had saddled for so long, silenced his doubters, and reigned on top of the sport with the national championship trophy.

CBS Sports will update this latest news item shortly.