Matt Fitzpatrick immediately set his sights on winning half a dozen major championships and matching the European record as set by Nick Faldo after claiming his first with success at the US Open. Fitzpatrick prevailed at Brookline’s Country Club by one stroke from Will Zalatoris, his playing partner on the final day, and the world No1 Scottie Scheffler.
“Six is the number,” said Fitzpatrick, when asked whether he had a majors target. “That’s the number that we all [in Fitzpatrick’s team] agreed on. I’ve got a bit of a way to go but it’s a good start.
“You want to go win more now, there’s no doubt about that. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. I’m not trying to change things. I’ll probably have a sit-down meeting with everyone and just try and make the right decisions going forward. It’s easy to still go off track. I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully more will come. I’m delighted with one so far.”
Fitzpatrick now shares a notable feat with the legendary Jack Nicklaus, having won both the US Amateur Championship and US Open at the same venue. Nicklaus achieved that at Pebble Beach.
“Any time you’re sharing a record with Jack Nicklaus, it’s unbelievable,” said Fitzpatrick after his triumph at the course just outside Boston. “So for me to have that as well is incredible. He called me up, down there just at the presentation to congratulate me. Coming from someone like that, it means the world.
“I just felt so comfortable around this place. Know where to hit it, know where to miss it. I am just happy to be unbeaten around this place.”
Fitzpatrick appeared emotional when thinking of his come city of Sheffield. The golfer is an ardent Sheffield United supporter. “Not to compare it to my football team, but I feel like I’m the same deal,” he explained. “Not expected to do well, not expected to succeed. I’ve won a major today.
“I feel like I certainly work hard for it. That’s kind of where I’ve grown up, that’s the mentality of everyone around there. It’s not upper class at all. It’s certainly like underdog mentality and you work for what you get.”
A gracious Zalatoris paid tribute to Fitzpatrick, especially for a tremendous shot from a fairway bunker on the 72nd hole. Finding himself in the sand and 159 yards from the flag, Fitzpatrick fired an iron to inside 20ft. Zalatoris subsequently watched his birdie putt, which would have forced a playoff, slide agonisingly past the hole.
“Matt’s shot on 18 is going to be shown probably for the rest of US Open history,” said Zalatoris. “I walked by it and I thought that going for it was going to be ballsy, but the fact that he pulled it off and even had a birdie look was just incredible. So hats off to him. He played great all week.”