Rory McIlroy showcased his class by staying on the Brookline course to congratulate 2022 US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick. The Brit is the first to win the US Open since Justin Rose’s success at the Merion Golf Club in 2013, the same year he lifted the US Amateur.
He joins Jack Nicklaus as the only two players to win the US Amateur and US Open on the same course after the American ace achieved the feat at Pebble Beach in 1961 and 1972. Facing challenges from world No 1 Scottie Scheffler and playing partner Will Zalatoris, Fitzpatrick had to hold his nerve.
The 27-year-old carded his third 68 of the week to finish six under par, beating the duo by a shot after both narrowly missed birdie putts on the 18th to take the championship to a play-off. And after his first win on the PGA Tour was official, McIlroy joined the celebrations in a warming act of sportsmanship.
The official US Open Twitter handle uploaded a video of Fitzpatrick in an embrace with the Northern Irish 2011 champion. McIlroy finished four shots behind, tied in fifth with Collin Morikawa on two under par after lifting the Canadian Open title earlier this month.
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Fans swarmed the video’s comments section with praise for McIlroy’s classy show of respect. One said: “Lovely touch for Rory to stay behind and congratulate Matt on his win.” Another commented: “Because Rory is a stand-up guy. Love that man. That was a nice post-win moment.”
Fitzpatrick took to the social media platform later in the day to react to his victory, posting a captionless image holding the US Amateur and US Open trophies from his separate successes at Brookline.
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Fitzpatrick described his maiden major triumph as ‘out of this world’ and a childhood dream fulfilled. The Sheffield-born star also admitted he could ‘retire a happy man’ if he wanted to, although that possibility will be one of the last things on his mind with his major haul only just beginning.
He said: “The feeling’s out of this world. It is so cliche, but it’s stuff you dream of as a kid. To achieve it, I can retire a happy man tomorrow. I had the big monkey on my back of not winning over here. It’s all everybody talked about, and to do it in a major, there’s nothing better.”
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