Fitzpatrick wins the U.S. Open his 1st PGA Tour victory

Fitzpatrick wins the U.S. Open his 1st PGA Tour victory

Fitzpatrick Breaks Through for First Major and PGA Tour Win at U.S. Open; Zalatoris Again Runner-up

Several stars of the PGA Tour—and none from the LIV Golf Invitational Series—were in contention for the win at The Country Club at Brookline near Boston on Sunday, and when the dust settled, two potential first-time winners (both entering the tournament at 25-1) were walking up the 18th fairway with throngs of fans around them.

In the end, Matt Fitzpatrick held on to a one-shot lead by parring the 18th, and Will Zalatoris missed a 12-foot putt for birdie that would’ve sent him into a playoff for the second major in a row.

The end result: great play throughout the spring led to a maiden victory and a U.S. Open championship for Fitzpatrick, and Zalatoris will have to wait at least another month for a shot at his first major win.

The two came into the day tied for the lead, and Fitzpatrick held off a group that included major winners Scottie Scheffler, Hideki Matsuyama, Collin Morikawa, and Rory McIlroy to shoot a 68 on the day and a 6-under 274 for the tournament.

Fitzpatrick, however, had to earn it. His tee shot on 18 landed in a fairway bunker, and with a postage stamp-sized green awaiting, his 9-iron shot that landed in easy two-putt territory instantly became one of the most clutch shots in U.S. Open history.

“It’s one of the best shots I’ve hit of all time,” Fitzpatrick, who hit 17 out of 18 greens in regulation, said. “I’ll be honest, I’ve really struggled with fairway bunker shots all year. I’m a fast player, and when I look back on it, it all happened so fast. Natural ability just kind of took over. I just played the shot that was at hand. It came out as a kind of a squeezy fade. It was amazing.”

Fitzpatrick came in with an advantage over the rest of the field, having won the 2013 U.S. Amateur tournament at Brookline. He actually stayed with the same family this week, trying to replicate all the good vibes as possible.

“I love playing this golf course,” said Fitzpatrick. “It suits me so well. It suits my game well. I’ve been playing well for a while, and I think it all just fell into place that this was the place it was going to happen.”

For Zalatoris, it marked the third runner-up finish in just nine majors after falling short in a playoff against Justin Thomas as the PGA Championship last month. After Scheffler and Fitzpatrick have now won this year, Zalatoris, 25, is pretty clearly the next in line when it comes to potential first-time winners.

“I think this one is probably going to take a bit more processing than (the PGA Championship). I’ve got no regrets. I thought I played great all week, especially getting off to the start that I did today (2 over through three),” Zalatoris said. “It stings, obviously … to have three runners-up so far in my career in majors. But keep knocking on that door. Obviously, we’re doing the right things.”

Zalatoris and Scheffler finished tied for runner-up at -5. Hideki Matsuyama shot a 65 to finish third at -3, and Morikawa and McIlroy tied for fifth at 2-under.

Of the LIV Golf Invitational Series players in the field, the top finisher was Dustin Johnson at +4, good enough for a tie of 24th place.

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