Golf: Fitzpatrick grabs one-stroke lead at turn in US Open

Matt Fitzpatrick of England plays his shot from the 15th tee during the final round of the US Open, on June 19, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

BROOKLINE, UNITED STATES (AFP) - England's Matt Fitzpatrick grabbed a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Scottie Scheffler and fellow American Will Zalatoris as he made the turn in Sunday's (June 19) dramatic final round of the US Open.

Fitzpatrick, chasing his first major title, rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt at the third, made a six-footer to birdie the fifth and, after a three-putt bogey at the par-5 sixth, drove the green at the par-5 eighth to set up a tap-in birdie at The Country Club.

World number 18 Fitzpatrick, who shared fifth at last month's PGA Championship for his best major result, won a 2013 US Amateur at The Country Club and could match Jack Nicklaus as the only winners of the US Open and US Amateur on the same course.

Reigning Masters champion Scheffler, seeking his fifth title of the year, birdied four of the first six holes to reach 6-under, but found a bunker at the 10th and made bogey to fall back. Scheffler made birdie putts of six feet at the first, 14 feet at the par-3 second and par-3 sixth and 24 feet at the fourth.

Scheffler, trying to match Tiger Woods as the only world number ones to win the US Open, would be the first to manage the US Open-Masters double in the same year since Jordan Spieth in 2015.

Zalatoris, who shared the 54-hole lead with Fitzpatrick, answered bogeys at the second and third with birdies at the sixth, seventh and ninth to share second. His tee shot at six and approach at the par-4 seven were inches from the cup.

World number 14 Zalatoris, with five top-10 finishes in eight prior major starts but no wins, was a runner-up last month at the PGA Championship, losing a playoff to Justin Thomas, and second in last year's Masters.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, shooting a bogey-free 4-under for the day through 14 holes, was fourth on 2-under with Americans Collin Morikawa, the reigning British Open champion, and Denny McCarthy.

Defending champion Jon Rahm, the world number two from Spain, shared seventh on 1-under after a double-bogey disaster at eight. With him were Canada's Adam Hadwin and American Joel Dahmen. Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, the world number three from Northern Ireland, had three birdies and three bogeys on a roller-coaster front nine and another bogey at the par-3 11th to fall to level par, six back.

LIV four today

Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series players faced US PGA Tour members for the first time this week after the US Golf Association decided not to ban rebels despite suspensions issed by the US PGA Tour. LIV's 15 players, only four of whom made the cut, were a combined 121-over par.

Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson was on 5-over par for the tournament after 14 holes. England's Richard Bland fired a 74 to finish on eight-over 288 with 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed on 290 after a 74 and 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau on 293 after a 75.

The US Open winner will make a record $3.15 million from a $17.5 million payout. Last week's LIV winner, Charl Schwartzel, got $4.75 million from golf's richest-ever purse of $25 million.

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