Jack Nicklaus hails Matt Fitzpatrick’s US Open final round as ‘one of the greatest I have ever seen’


Jack Nicklaus hails Matt Fitzpatrick's US Open final round as one of the greatest he has seen - SHUTTERSTOCK

Jack Nicklaus hails Matt Fitzpatrick’s US Open final round as one of the greatest he has seen – SHUTTERSTOCK

Jack Nicklaus has welcomed Matt Fitzpatrick into their exclusive club of two after the Englishman emulated the Golden Bear by winning the US Open and the US Amateur at the same course.

Fitzpatrick captured his first major title on Sunday with a one-shot win over world No 1 Scottie Scheffler and another American in Will Zalatoris, producing one of best final-hole shots in the 161-year history of the majors, finding the green here at The Country Club from a tricky spot in a fairway bunker.

That capped off a performance for which Nicklaus, the 18-time major winner, reserved high praise.

“Couldn’t be happier for a really nice young man—a terrific young man!” Nicklaus, who completed his double at Pebble Beach, posted on social media. “One of the greatest rounds of golf I have ever seen on a final day of the US Open. Matt had the pressure on him, having never won in the United States, and came through in flying colors! [sic]”

Nicklaus phoned Fitzpatrick after the presentation on the 18th green. “Coming from someone like Jack, it means the world,” the 27-year-old said. “Sharing a record with Jack Nicklaus, is unbelievable. Especially when it is just me and him. It just makes this even more special.”

Courtesy of becoming the first English winner of a major in six years – 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett was also born in Sheffield – Fitzpatrick has broken into the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career.

The Americans made great play of this being Fitzpatrick’s first victory on US soil, but he has proved himself as a winner on the European Tour, picking up seven titles before this. And having gone out in the final group on the final day of the US PGA  last month, he knew he was capable of emulating Justin Rose’s success in America’s national championship in 2013, the same year as he won the US Amateur as a teenager.

Matt Fitzpatrick of England plays a shot from a fairway bunker on the 18th hole - GETTY IMAGES

Matt Fitzpatrick of England plays a shot from a fairway bunker on the 18th hole – GETTY IMAGES

“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,” Fitzaptrick said, before crediting the breakthrough to the enormous strides he has made in driving distance this season, that saw this formerly short-hitter outdrive Dustin Johnson in the first two rounds.

“I’ve spent a lot of time working with Mike Walker and my coach and biomechanist Sasho Mackenzie. Sasha gave me this speed stick called The Stack. I’ve been doing that religiously week in and week out. It’s like going to the gym basically. It’s like a training program and it’s worked wonders.

“If I was in this position, four…



Source link : sports.yahoo.com

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