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Englishman Fitzpatrick wins golf's US Open

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
20th June, 2022
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Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick has won the US Open by one shot over world No.1 Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris to claim his first major title.

Fitzpatrick, who began Sunday at Brookline Country Club in Massachusetts in a share of the lead with playing partner Zalatoris and one shot clear of defending champion Jon Rahm, shot a closing two-under-par 68 that left him at six under on the week at the year’s third major.

The 27-year-old arrived at the final hole one shot clear of Zalatoris and Masters champion Scheffler, who was already in the clubhouse at five under, but sent his tee shot into a fairway bunker to set up a nervy finish.

From there, Fitzpatrick delivered a clutch shot that reached the green and two-putted from 18 feet to seal the biggest win of his career.

It marked the second time Fitzpatrick had tasted success at the challenging venue outside Boston where he also won the 2013 US Amateur that kick-started his career.

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Zalatoris, the PGA Tour’s reigning rookie of the year, sent his birdie chance at the last just past the left side of the cup to finish runner-up at a major for the third time after falling short at the 2021 Masters and last month’s PGA Championship.

Adam Scott and Marc Leishman found some welcome form ahead of the season’s milestone final major to finish as the top Australians.

On another day of tough going at Brookline Country Club, Scott and Leishman each posted final-round two-under-par 68s to jump into a tie for 14th.

At two over for the championship, the veteran pair finished eight shots behind English winner Matthew Fitzpatrick.

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More significantly, it was the first top-15 result outside of the WGC Match Play event for both Aussie big guns since the Genesis Invitational in Los Angles in February.

Their major form bodes well ahead of an eagerly-awaited return to St Andrews for the 150th Open Championship from July 14-17.

Leishman, Scott and fellow Australian Jason Day all had huge opportunities to claim the Claret Jug the last time the British Open was played at the home of golf in 2015.

Day led into the final round only to finish a shot shy, Scott hit the lead early on the back nine but faltered down the stretch and Leishman fell agonisingly short in a four-hole playoff with Louis Oosthuizen and eventual champion Zach Johnson.

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The trio will get another crack next month, with Scott and Leishman sure to return to the famous Scottish links with renewed confidence.

After a steady opening nine on Sunday, Scott made three birdies between the 10th and 14th to climb the leaderboard.

Leishman bounced back from his disappointing third-round 73 and had three birdies on the front nine to make a charge, but was unable to keep the run going.

Min Woo Lee was the next-best Australian in a tie for 27th at five over after being unable to deliver another special Sunday round like he produced on his Masters debut in April.

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Lee entered the final round six strokes off the pace, giving himself an outside chance of completing an extraordinary family double after his sister Minjee won the US Women’s Open two weeks ago.

But the 24-year-old’s dreams were dashed early on the unforgiving Massachusetts course, when he followed up a double bogey on the third with bogeys on the fourth and sixth.

Lee clawed back one stroke on the ninth, dropped another shots on the back nine but picked up two birdies on the 14th and 16th in a steely finish from the 24-year-old.

Australian qualifier Todd Sinnott ended his impressive major championship debut with an even-par 70 for a six-over total in a tie for 31st.

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© AAP

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