Before the big win, Fitzpatrick moved in with his old host family
In 2013, Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur Championship. Back then, the Fultons saved the golfer from homelessness. Now he moved in with his host family again. And won the US Open in one fell swoop for eternity.
Nfter winning the US Open, golfer Matthew Fitzpatrick embraced his younger brother Alex in a particularly heartfelt manner. Nine years before the greatest success of his career, the now 27-year-old Englishman had previously won the course at Brookline’s Country Club outside of Boston. Back then as an amateur, his brother was the caddy – after a wafer-thin victory ahead of Will Zalatoris and world number one Scottie Scheffler, he was now one of the first to congratulate.
Not the only connection to his initial success. In 2013, the surprising triumph thwarted the Fitzpatricks’ travel plans. Father Russell had only booked the hotel until the matchplay quarterfinals. Matthew Fitzpatrick was homeless as a result of his successful run and found a host family at short notice through the mediation of the American Golf Association USGA.
The Fultons proved to be extremely helpful on the way to winning the tournament, and the chemistry was right, so Fitzpatrick kept in touch in the years that followed. The Englishman visited her several times, spent Thanksgiving with Will and Jennifer and their children Sam, Annabaelle and George – and now returned once more.
“I’ve been here a few times and I love coming back here,” Fitzpatrick said before the tournament, checking in with the Fultons for the US Open. This time from the first tee to the triumphant end.
“The feeling is out of this world,” said Fitzpatrick, who shed tears of joy during the first of many on-court hugs. “It’s such a cliché, but this is stuff you dream about as a kid. To have achieved that: I can retire tomorrow a happy man.”
Fitzpatrick brings drama to the 18th
At his age, the Briton certainly still has a few good years ahead of him – and has already secured a place in the sporting annual reviews of the USA. And probably those from England too. Because how he solved the tricky situation on the last hole, when the tee shot landed in the bunker and he apparently served Zalatoris the chance to catch up on a silver platter, also impressed the competition.
“Matt’s shot at 18 will probably show them to the end of US Open history,” Zalatoris said. Fitzpatrick made it from the bunker onto the green. “One of the best shots I’ve ever hit,” Fitzpatrick said.
He then missed an opportunity for a birdie on the green, giving Zalatoris another chance to level and force a playoff. But the 25-year-old American missed the hole with his putt from about four meters, crouched down, clasped his hands over his head and was beaten. For the third time in the past seven majors, one of the major golf tournaments ended in second place for him.
The Fitzpatricks family, on the other hand, shot up from their seats at that moment and, seconds later, ran happily onto the pitch. While Zalatoris has to wait, Fitzpatrick has finally made it, not only claiming his first major win of his career, but his first ever as a pro in the United States. For the four rounds of the par-70 course outside of Boston, he needed a total of 274 strokes – one less than Zalatoris and Scheffler.
“It’s something I’ve worked for so long, for so long,” Fitzpatrick said at the awards ceremony. “To do that, my first win, a major – it doesn’t get any better than that.” Only the great Jack Nicklaus had managed to win the amateur title (2013) and the US Open on the same golf course before him first congratulated by phone.