Another glory from 9 years ago… The CC men’s Fitzpatrick wins the US Open

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Matt Fitzpatrick (27. England), ahead of the 122nd US Open (total prize money of $17.5 million), the biggest men’s golf tournament, held at The CC (par 70, 7264 yards) in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, USA on the 17th (Korean time), was the most First, we made a reservation for accommodation. It was not about looking for accommodations with good facilities and convenient transportation. Nine years ago, during the US Amateur Open held at the same venue, he struggled to get the very house he had used. It is to receive the energy of that time at the very dormitory where his glory on the American stage began. The Boston Globe introduced, “Fitzpatrick rented the house of a member of The CC named Will Fulton in 2013, and this year he slept in the same bed that he used at the time.”

Few people paid attention to Fitzpatrick, who had never won a championship on the PGA Tour ahead of this tournament. But he sharpened his sword. It was because he had a memory of winning and it was a course he knew better than anyone. “On this course, I was confident that I could do it with anyone,” Fitzpatrick said belatedly.

Was it because of the energy of The CC and Dragonfly? Even on the deep rough and difficult greens that had troubled the world’s top rankers, Fitzpatrick flew wildly. From the first round, he entered the competition for the championship by hitting 2 under par, and maintained the lead throughout the final round. In the 4th round held on the 20th, World No. 1 Scotty Schaeffler and 2020-2021 PGA Tour rookie champion Will Xalertoris (USA) fiercely pursued them, but they won the championship with an iron shot like an awl. He was the first foreigner to win both the US Amateur and the US Open at the same time, and he also made a record as the third player to win the US Amateur and US Open on the same course, following Jack Nicklaus and Julie Ingster.

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In the 9th year of his professional debut, Fitzpatrick won 7 victories on the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour). But on the PGA Tour he joined in 2020, he was still an undefeated powerhouse. With a height of 178 cm and an average body weight of 70 kg, the secret to dealing with large top-ranked players was hard work. According to the PGA Tour, Fitzpatrick has been recording every shot since he was 15 years old, both in competition and in practice. He’s been recording goal points, clubs used, carry and error on shots. It means that he has progressed one step at a time by accumulating more and more accurate data on his own shots than anyone else. His father, Russell, said: “When I see him with him for a week or so, all I can think of is that he’s ‘crazy’.”

On the 18th hole, his firm belief in himself shone. Fitzpatrick, who started the match as a joint lead with Xalertoris, fought fiercely for the lead throughout the game. Ahead of the 18th hole (par 4), Fitzpatrick’s tee shot fell into the bunker, allowing him to pursue by one stroke. If a bogey is violated here, the game could lead to overtime. But he held the 9 iron tight and confidently hit the ball, which stopped 6 m from the pin. He kept the lead by one stroke with a par with two putts, and when the Xalertoris missed a birdie putt, a bright smile appeared on Fitzpatrick’s face. “The most disappointing shot this year was the 18th tee shot, and the best shot this year was the second shot from that hole,” he recalled. .

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Fitzpatrick’s win also moved veteran caddy Billy Foster. Foster worked as a caddy for over 30 years and worked with Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods, and Thomas Bjorn, but had no connection with the majors. When the victory was confirmed, Fitzpatrick and Foster were the first to hug and share the joy of winning. With tears in his eyes, Foster kissed the red US Open flag with an ’18’ and lifted the flag of his first major event.

Correspondent Jo Soo-young delinews@hankyung.com

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