Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick wins US Open with incredible ‘hit and hope’ bunker shot finish

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Photo credit: Matt Fitzpatrick team press shot / twitter

Matt Fitzpatrick needed a miracle to hold off Will Zalatoris in the final round of the U.S. Open, and that miracle happened with a perfectly placed “hit and hope” bunker shot on the final hole.

Yorkshireman Fitzpatrick had held a one-stroke lead going into 18. His tee shot sailed into the bunker, raising eyebrows and potentially opening a door for Zalatoris to force a playoff.

However, on the second shot from the bunker, Fitzpatrick managed to lift it out of the sand and 18 feet away from the hole.

It was a career-defining shot for Fitzpatrick with Matt saying:

“It’s one of the best shots I ever hit, no doubt about it.”

“I hit some unbelievable shots coming down the stretch. I look back to my three approaches into 15, 16, and 17 as all really, really good shots. On 18 it was kind of just a bit of hit and hope.

“I just felt I had to hit the green. I was trying to make a par on 18 and put the pressure on him and force him to make a birdie.

“I knew Will was going to hit it close. I knew he was going to give himself a chance. When I hit that shot, I thought at least I’ve got a chance too.”

It was Fitzpatrick’s first major victory of his career at one of the toughest courses, The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was coming off his best finish at the PGA Championship last month in which he finished tied for fifth.

He is only the second player to win the men’s U.S. Open and the men’s U.S. Amateur at the same venue. Jack Nicklaus is the only other golfer to pull off the feat.

Matt took to Twitter saying:

“What. A. Day. From being a little kid this is a moment I could only dream of. To achieve one of my career goals yesterday was truly incredible. Words really can’t describe the feeling of winning a major, it’s 1000x better than I ever thought it would be.”

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