At the U.S. Open, Matt Fitzpatrick won his first major championship

BROOKLINE, Mass. – This year’s U.S. Open began as an unprecedented rivalry, a group of former golfers who remained loyal to the established PGA Tour and recently joined the new rebel-sponsored LIV Golf series backed by Saudi. But the expected confrontation at the Country Club outside of Boston came to a halt in the first round on Thursday when the golfers left both camps.

Players lined up at LIV Golf also vanished early in the clash.

As of Sunday, the division in professional men’s golf was almost unstable, but it was overshadowed by a last-round shootout between the top three young players in the sport: Matt Fitzpatrick, 27, of England, and Will Zalatoris of the United States, 25. and Scottie Scheffler, 25.

In the end, Fitzpatrick, who won the U.S. Amateur Country Club nine years ago, survived the crucible, securing his first victory in a major golf tournament and the PGA Tour, with 68 in the fourth round, putting him below six. tournament. Fitzpatrick earned $ 3.15 million for his victory.

Zalatoris and Scheffler retaliated.

Fitzpatrick dropped to the last two holes in the last two days and Zalatoris, his pair of players, advanced in a single blow. He had a two-stroke advantage over Scheffler, ahead of third-round leaders Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris, who played two teams.

But Scheffler fired in the 17th hole to get below five and to equalize Zalatoris, like Fitzpatrick in the 17th hole.

The 444-meter par-4 fell to the 18th hole, the Country Club’s signature hole. Zalatoris punched his tee into the fairway and hit a second shot from 14 yards out. Fitzpatrick fired a left-footed shot into the net, but hit a crisp iron that was limited to 156 yards to the green and stopped 17 yards from the hole.

Fitzpatrick then confidently put the two on par. Zalatoris’ birdie putt to tie Fitzpatrick and set up a knockout less than an inch to the left of the hole.

Saturday’s third green round was strong and fast while the wind was blowing — and it was only seven laps ahead — compared to Sunday’s good conditions. The Country Club pitch is terrifying in any weather, but the forecast was for cold temperatures and strong winds, which heralded another tough day for the world’s top golfers. Instead, the wind calmed down and the cloud cover made for a nice day in the 60s. For the most part, a night storm caused a quarter of an inch of rain to fall on the club’s small greens, which slowed it down and made it less difficult to position.

As a result, the pitch could be more aggressive, especially if a tee shot hits the fairway. In some cases, however, it is possible that golf mistakes could have given false confidence to golf fans because expensive mistakes were still common.

Zalatoris started the day with a tie under Fitzpatrick under four-pointers, but initially failed to make a bogey when he fired a three-point shot from 67 yards from the second hole. Then, on the next hole, he felt his second shot to a green bunker, which led to a second bogey. But Zalatoris seldom appeared trakets. He stabilized three pairs in a row and in the 3rd pair, in the sixth hole of 158 meters, he drilled his tee shot 2 meters from the flag to get an easy bird. Zalatoris jumped from a 164-meter, 4-par to a seventh-green approach to the green area and threw a single inch from the hole. His tap-in birdie returned in pairs for four rounds. When Zalatoris sank a 17-foot birdie putt in the ninth hole, he spun five times under his counterpart, only one shot behind Fitzpatrick.

After a steady pair of holes in the 10th hole, Zalatoris played elegantly and safely on the par-3 downhill in the 11th hole, playing only 108 meters on Sunday (with an extremely difficult position in the left hole in the back). Zalatoris left his tee under the hole and rolled on an 18-foot putt to move from birdie to six, which gave him the championship lead at the time. But a fairway lost from the 12th t-shirt left him out of the green and eventually led to a bogey.

After seeing Zalatoris drop to five below par, Fitzpatrick, who was tied for second place in the last round of last month’s PGA Championship, came in. Standing on a 48-foot putt for the birdie in hole 13, he threw a snake putt from left to right into the hole slowly but confidently to tie Zalatoris.

Like everyone else at the top of the standings on Sunday, Fitzpatrick’s turn was uneven and unpredictable. He started strong with three pairs and two birdies in the first five holes. But in the sixth hole of par-3 his tee was too long, he was sailing 66 feet from the hole, which led to a bogey. Fitzpatrick met a comfortable bird in the par-5 in the eighth, but like many on Sunday he was unable to hold on to the positive momentum. He stumbled into the 10th hole when a second long shot was missing from the green and took him to another bogey. Then the 11th minute tormented Fitzpatrick with a 7-foot putt going through the hole and making a second consecutive bogey.

Scheffler took the lead in the tournament on Saturday with a brilliant nine from the front, but then returned it all with a string of nine bogey in the back. On Sunday, Scheffler rose to the front nine again with four birds in his first six holes. Scheffler’s shots to get close to the little greens and demons were accurate and did a great job as three of his four early putts turned out to be 12 feet wide.

But then Scheffler’s putting shot was abandoned because he needed three putts to get his ball into the 10th hole from 38 feet into the hole. Worse, in the 11th hole, Scheffler’s 7-foot putt crossed the hole and pulled out a three-putt bogey in the second row, which dropped to four in the tournament. Scheffler remained in the fight, though with five straight pairs from 12th to 16th.

Hideki Matsuyama scored one of the best starting scores when he shot one under 65, finishing five at the pair without five birdies and a bogey. Matsuyama only needed 25 putts in his final whistle.

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