Fitzpatrick: Incredible to share honour with Nicklaus

Matthew Fitzpatrick and Jack Nicklaus only players to win US Amateur and US Open on same course; Englishman triumphed in Brookline nine years after amateur success at the venue; Nicklaus, who did the double at Pebble Beach, called Fitzpatrick on Sunday after his maiden major title

Last Updated: 20/06/22 7:58pm

Matt Fitzpatrick says he received a congratulatory phone call from Jack Nicklaus after winning the US Open

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Matt Fitzpatrick says he received a congratulatory phone call from Jack Nicklaus after winning the US Open

Matt Fitzpatrick says he received a congratulatory phone call from Jack Nicklaus after winning the US Open

US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick says sharing an honour with Jack Nicklaus is “incredible” as he revealed his remarkable bunker shot during the final round at Brookline “doesn’t feel real”.

Fitzpatrick became just the second man, after Nicklaus, to win both the US Amateur and US Open titles at the same venue when he clinched victory at The Country Club on Sunday, with the Englishman previously claiming the amateur crown in Boston in 2013.

The 27-year-old – who ended on six under par to pip Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler by one stroke – says Nicklaus phoned him after he became just the third Englishman to win the US Open in the last 52 years, following in the footsteps of Tony Jacklin in 1970 and Justin Rose in 2013.

Fitzpatrick produced an incredible shot out of the bunker on the 72nd hole as he won the US Open at Brookline

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Fitzpatrick produced an incredible shot out of the bunker on the 72nd hole as he won the US Open at Brookline

Fitzpatrick produced an incredible shot out of the bunker on the 72nd hole as he won the US Open at Brookline

Fitzpatrick wowed the crowds on the 18th hole with a 160-yard shot from a bunker and onto the green, before he two-putted from 18 feet to clinch a maiden major title.

The new world No 10 told Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir: “Any record you share with Jack is incredible. To share that one in particular is incredibly special.

“He called me after the round and congratulated me. It’s crazy to receive something like that from such a great golfing legend.

‘Winning the US Open is surreal’

“It’s hard to get my head around [the bunker shot], to be honest. It doesn’t feel like it’s me, doesn’t feel real.

Fitzpatrick won the title after Will Zalatoris missed a birdie putt to force a play-off

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Fitzpatrick won the title after Will Zalatoris missed a birdie putt to force a play-off

Fitzpatrick won the title after Will Zalatoris missed a birdie putt to force a play-off

“[Winning the US Open] is incredibly surreal. I was doing media after the round and genuinely had to question whether it was a dream, whether I was going to wake up.

“I have never felt like that. People say that and I don’t buy it, but it certainly felt that way [for me].”

Fitzpatrick’s victory at Brookline was his first on the PGA Tour after seven previous titles on the DP World Tour, including the British Masters once and DP World Tour Championship twice.

He said: “I’ve never really said it but one thing I pride myself on is that if I get a chance I genuinely feel I will take it. If I get a chance to win, I’ll go and win.

Fitzpatrick was lost for words after claiming his maiden major title in Boston

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Fitzpatrick was lost for words after claiming his maiden major title in Boston

Fitzpatrick was lost for words after claiming his maiden major title in Boston

“If you actually look at my results, I don’t necessarily put myself in position to win enough. I am not always in the last group. This year I have been three or four shots back going into the final round and then had a good round to finish in the top 10.

“The times I have given myself chances to win, I have won most of the time. I pride myself on being a gritty competitor, just wanting to win badly and doing the right things.”

Fitzpatrick: I feel I have proved myself

Fitzpatrick’s attention will now turn to the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, which is live on Sky Sports from July 14, with the Sheffield-born player saying his US Open triumph has given him tremendous confidence.

Fitzpatrick said: “It’s massive. I feel like I proved I have the ability to go out there. I won the US Open final round with 35 putts, which is not like Fitzpatrick at all.

“Hopefully that says a lot about where I have come with the other aspects of the game. I’m going to take that into the next few weeks and see what happens at St Andrews.

“[Friends and family] will keep me down to earth and being from Sheffield you can never get too high up as you will be brought back down. It’s something I will keep an eye on.”

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