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

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

The second-highest ranked golfer in the world without a PGA Tour victory in his career finally claimed one Sunday while simultaneously breaking through golf’s upper echelon with his first major championship. Matt Fitzpatrick won the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, on Sunday with two birdies and no bogeys across the final seven holes to clinch the tournament at 6 under.

Fitzpatrick, 27, edged 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 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club, Fitzpatrick added to his USGA total in dramatic fashion with a victory at the 122nd U.S. Open. In doing so, he joined Jack Nicklaus and Julie Inkster as the only players to win the two championships at the same venue, solidifying his spot in the annals of golf history.

The No. 18 player on the Official World Golf Rankings, Fitzpatrick broke through 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 had not been an easy road for Fitzpatrick to this point, and his final round at The Country Club was a perfect encapsulation of this. Whether he would choose to admit it or not, doubt had to creep in as he missed opportunities to win events over the years.

A player who had always thrived due to his blend of accuracy and putting prowess, Fitzpatrick came into 2022 as a completely retooled player. That was evident this week as the name of the game for Fitzpatrick was consistency. While others went out with notably low rounds early in the tournament, he shot 2 under across the first 36 holes with an even-par 70 on Friday before posting a second 68 on Moving Day to take the co-lead.

Fitzpatrick was up and down across the front nine Sunday, and two bogeys to start the back made it appear as if he would once again sit on the outside of a trophy presentation.

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

An emphatic birdie on the par-4 13th put Fitzpatrick back into 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 set up a birdie look on the lengthy par-4 15th. With Zalatoris in for bogey, Fitzpatrick walked in his third and momentarily grabbed a two-stroke lead.

Though Zalatoris and Scheffler both pulled within one after scoring birdies down the stretch, Fitzpatrick never let up.

After trading pars with Zalatoris on the accessible 17th, Fitzpatrick went to the 72nd hole with a one-stroke edge and made the only error you could not make when he found the fairway bunker off the tee. He took it on the chin, following the miscue with a career-defining shot onto the green that set up his U.S. Open triumph. Fitzpatrick missed an 18-foot birdie putt to clinch the win, but Zalatoris missed a similar 14-foot putt by a hair as Fitzpatrick posted his third 68 of the tournament and first PGA Tour victory.

The U.S. Open is often and rightfully described as “the most difficult test in golf.” Most believe that to be the case due to the conditions. They certainly play a role, but the mental challenge the USGA sets forth far exceeds them. Competing in the U.S. Open is truly is a rollercoaster of emotions, and one tiny misstep can be one’s eventual downfall.

Fitzpatrick had his fair share of miscues on Sunday, but he took the punches like a champion. In the process, he shed the moniker he saddled for so long, silencing his doubters and reigning atop the sport with the national championship trophy.

CBS Sports will update this breaking news story shortly.

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