Matt Fitzpatrick’s first main win, Phil Mickelson and the most important takeaways from the 2022 U.S. Open

Matt Fitzpatrick’s first main win, Phil Mickelson and the most important takeaways from the 2022 U.S. Open

BROOKLINE, Mass. — Previous to Sunday, England’s Matt Fitzpatrick had by no means received an expert golf event in the USA.

Now, he has received two of the world’s greatest golf occasions on the identical course. 9 years after successful the US Novice at The Nation Membership outdoors of Boston, Fitzpatrick captured his first PGA Tour win on the 122nd US Open on the identical course on Sunday with a 1-shot victory over Will Zalatoris and the Masters champion Scottie Scheffler.

Fitzpatrick joins Jack Nicklaus as the one male golfers to win a US Novice and a US Open on the identical course (Nicklaus did it at Pebble Seashore in 1961 and 1972).

Listed here are 5 issues we discovered on the US Open this week:

1. It was the time of Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick turned the primary participant to earn his first PGA Tour win at a serious since fellow Englishman Danny Willett received the 2016 Masters. However it’s not like Fitzpatrick hasn’t received as a professional earlier than.

Fitzpatrick, 27, has received seven instances on the European Tour (now the DP World Tour), together with twice on the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. He had trended in the proper route within the majors, with a tie for 14th on the Masters and a tie for fifth on the PGA Championship at Southern Hills final month. The efficiency at Southern Hills, maybe greater than every other, proved to Fitzpatrick that he might compete at this stage.

“Being a serious occasion, it is fairly totally different from a daily PGA Tour occasion,” Fitzpatrick mentioned. “On the finish of the day, they’re actually laborious to win. I feel till Southern Hills, actually, I did not understand how laborious it’s to win a serious. Yeah, I have never actually challenged till then.

“I feel, together with myself, and other people outdoors perhaps assume it is simpler than it’s. You simply have to have a look at Tiger [Woods]. He took out so many in such a fast span. That is why I feel folks assume, ‘Oh, it is a piece of cake; it is like a standard Tour occasion.’ However shouldn’t be.”

And, after all, Fitzpatrick’s story at The Nation Membership supplied an edge others did not have. He stayed in the identical home with the identical host household that he had on the 2013 US Novice.

“I actually assume it offers me an edge over everybody else, sure,” Fitzpatrick mentioned the night time earlier than the ultimate spherical. “I actually consider that. It is an actual, clearly optimistic second in my profession. It pushed me ahead.”

2. Rory is the face of the PGA Tour

Northern Eire’s McIlroy as soon as once more failed to finish his eight-year drought and not using a main championship. He’s now 0-for-29 in majors since he received the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.

McIlroy, 33, was minus 4 earlier than the weekend at The Nation Membership, however he by no means had something to do on Saturday and Sunday, at the least not till it was too late. He birdied numbers 14 and 15, however missed good alternatives on the final two holes.

“It isn’t about successful or shedding,” mentioned McIlroy, who completed tied for fifth at 2 beneath. “It isn’t like the place I completed is identical as not taking part in the weekend. I suppose after I look again, I will keep in mind the fifth-place end I received at Brookline? I most likely did not… I performed properly sufficient to provide myself an opportunity.” “. probability to win. I did not do the work, however I am nearer than I have been in a very long time, which is sweet.”

However McIlroy’s greatest work got here earlier within the week, when he as soon as once more defended the PGA Tour. He criticized the youthful gamers who went to LIV Golf for taking the “simple manner out” and known as their choices short-sighted.

“I perceive. Sure, as a result of lots of these guys are of their 40s,” McIlroy mentioned. “In Phil [Mickelson’s] case, the early ’50s. Sure, I feel everybody on this room would inform themselves that their greatest days are behind them. That is why I do not perceive guys who’re comparable in age to me leaving as a result of I might wish to consider that my greatest days are but to return, and I feel theirs too. In order that’s the place it feels such as you’re taking the simple manner out.”

3. The USGA received it proper

The Nation Membership had not hosted the US Open since 1988, when Curtis Unusual defeated Nick Faldo in a playoff. Hopefully the USGA will not wait 34 years to carry him again to the membership outdoors of Boston.

Total, the golf course and setting garnered glorious opinions from gamers. Sure, it was tough. The wind was swirling, the third minimize of tough was ankle deep, and the greens have been small and agency. In a single day rain and fewer wind prevented typical Sunday situations on the US Open from growing.

“Aside from the smaller inexperienced, I believed it was one of the best place I had performed in a very long time,” Collin Morikawa mentioned Sunday. “There’s solely been a handful of programs the place I’ve actually set foot on property, and also you see it for a brief time period, and then you definitely assume you are going to find it irresistible, and this was one in all them. There is not any BS round it. It is a good golf course.

“You actually must chart your manner. It’s a must to assume it via. I believed it was a course you could possibly play fairly properly and a course that would harm your again fairly rapidly. I feel I received each ends of that, however general , Sure I liked it”.

The USGA has been closely criticized for course situations on the US Open within the latest previous, however it’s a must to give them credit score for getting it proper. Tyrrell Hatton did not even complain.

“The golf course clearly received some rain. [Saturday], so it was a bit bit extra responsive than it has been all week, so that you’re most likely going to see some decrease scores down the stretch,” mentioned Gary Woodland, the 2019 US Open winner. It is calmed down a bit now. It could have been attention-grabbing if it hadn’t rained final night time. I feel it will have been much like yesterday. However [Saturday] it was what they wished, and that is what you need at a US Open. It was tough. The situations have been brutal. The golf course was completely arrange.”

4. The LIV Golf guys have not had a superb week

The build-up to the US Open targeted on the continuing battle for the soul {of professional} golf between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the breakaway circuit led by former World No. 1 golfer Greg Norman and funded by the Funding Fund. Saudi Arabian Public.

The USGA discovered itself in a tough place when PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan suspended 17 gamers for enjoying at LIV Golf’s inaugural occasion outdoors London final week. A few of these gamers, together with Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Kevin Na, had already entered the sector by way of waivers, and it would not have been honest to kick them out after the very fact.

Nevertheless, as soon as the event received underway on Thursday, the LIV Golf roster was not a lot of an element. Solely 4 of the 15 gamers who competed on the London occasion or introduced they may play on the subsequent one in Portland, Oregon, made the minimize on the US Open. None of those that stayed the weekend performed very properly. Johnson was prime ranked in 4 extra. England’s Richard Bland topped 8, Patrick Reed topped 10 and Bryson DeChambeau topped 13.

That is the issue with LIV Golf proper now. Outdoors of Johnson, many of the gamers who’ve defected from the Tour are both ageing or shadows of their former selves. Reed hasn’t received since January 2021 and has simply two top-10 finishes in 20 begins this season. DeChambeau hasn’t received since March 2021 and is recovering from surgical procedure on his left hand. He has made solely seven begins this season. It was his seventh straight end outdoors the highest 25 at a serious, the longest drought of his profession.

The feud between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is not going to finish anytime quickly. Whereas many of the prime gamers, together with Scheffler, Zalatoris, Morikawa and McIlroy, say they may stick with the Tour, a gradual exodus of different gamers is prone to proceed over the subsequent few weeks. LIV Golf is anticipated to announce the 48-man discipline for the Portland occasion earlier this week. There’s hypothesis that a few notable gamers may very well be among the many newest defections.

5. Followers nonetheless love Phil

The USGA could not have been too thrilled that Mickelson skipped the Masters, the main he loves most, and the PGA Championship, an occasion he received in 2021 to turn out to be the oldest main champion at 51. That put the US Open within the highlight for Mickelson’s return to aggressive golf in the USA.

Though Mickelson’s information convention on Monday was relatively awkward (he glossed over the powerful questions), his reception from golf followers was fairly welcoming. Certain, there have been some hisses about blood cash and betrayal, however general Boston sports activities followers, who’ve a popularity for being among the many most energetic, have been fairly heat to Lefty.

Regardless of the adulation, Mickelson needed to face a harsh actuality this week. Your days of taking part in aggressive golf in opposition to one of the best gamers on this planet are over. Mickelson shot 11 within the first two rounds, his fifth-worst whole of 36 holes in his main profession. Whereas we anticipated an excessive amount of from a 52-year-old who hadn’t performed a aggressive spherical within the US since late January, his greatest days on the sector are clearly within the rearview mirror.

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