Matt Fitzpatrick returned to the site of his 2013 U.S. Amateur victory and claimed his first major championship Sunday, shooting a 2-under-par 68 to win the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.
The Englishman outdueled Will Zalatoris down the stretch with crucial birdies at the par-4 13th and 15th holes. After Fitzpatrick tapped out for par at the last hole, Zalatoris had a birdie putt to force a playoff that missed a hair to the left.
Fitzpatrick, 27, posted a 6-under 274 for the week, beating Zalatoris and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler by a stroke. Fitzpatrick is the first player from England to win a U.S. Open since Justin Rose in 2013, the same year Fitzpatrick outlasted a talented field to claim the prestigious amateur title.
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.
Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris entered the day as 54-hole co-leaders and played in the final group of the day. Fitzpatrick carded three birdies and a bogey on the front nine before encountering trouble at the par-4 10th and par-3 11th, making consecutive bogeys.
Zalatoris drained a mid-length birdie putt at No. 11 for a two-shot swing. But he gave the shot back with a bogey at the next hole, lessening his lead to one, before another vital two-shot swing at the par-4 15th.
Fitzpatrick sent his drive far right but made an incredible recovery shot, landing on the green and making the ensuing 18-foot putt for birdie. Zalatoris, meanwhile, found a greenside bunker and ended up bogeying down to 4 under.
Zalatoris bounced back with a birdie at the par-3 16th but couldn’t complete the rally. He finished second for the second straight major after losing a playoff to Justin Thomas at last month’s PGA Championship.
Scheffler charged ahead early with four birdies in his first six holes to take the lead at 6 under, where Fitzpatrick eventually matched him. But for the second straight day, the Masters champion had trouble after the turn. He bogeyed No. 10 and three-putted for another bogey at No. 11.
Several par saves later, Scheffler made a 6-foot birdie putt at No. 17 and got in at 5 under ahead of the final group’s last hole.
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.