US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick ‘can retire a happy man’ as Jack Nicklaus pays huge praise

‘I can retire a happy man’ – Matt Fitzpatrick wins first major title at US Open

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US open champion Matthew Frizpatrick has revealed he ‘can retire a happy man’ following his historic victory, whilst also earning the plaudits of golfing great Jack Nicklaus. Fitzpatrick secured his maiden major title on Sunday after seeing off Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris in a tense final round.

The victory was an extra special one for the Englishman, as it took place at the exact same course he had first made a name for himself when winning the US Amateur nine years prior. After heading into the final round tied for the lead with Zalatoris, Fitzpatrick put in a heroic showing to see off the youngster by a single shot.

A final round two-under-par 68 proved enough for Fitzpatrick, who finished the tournament at six-under and importantly at the top of the leaderboard. After his dramatic victory, the 27-year-old revealed completing a lifelong dream means he could ‘retire a happy man tomorrow’. 

Speaking to the press after his title claim, 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. It’s what you grow up dreaming of winning and I’ve worked so hard for such a long time. The victory is not only his first major win, but also his maiden win in the United States, and Fitzpatrick has a cheeky message for the great Nicklaus after the pair had exchanged a joke earlier this year.

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He added: “I don’t know if Jack [Nicklaus] is listening to this but he gave me some abuse at the start of the year, when I won a member-member competition at his club and he said congratulations on finally winning in the United States.“ I can go back to him now and say I’ve won twice.”

The win means he joins golf’s most successful major champion in being the only two players to win both the US Amateur and US Open during their careers. Being alongside a Nicklaus record is special for any golfer, and for the 27-year-old he described the feeling as incredible. “Any time you’re sharing a record with Jack Nicklaus, it’s unbelievable,” Fitzpatrick added. 

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“So for me to have that as well is incredible. He called me up at the presentation to congratulate me. Coming from someone like that, it means the world.” The great Nicklaus had high praise for the newly crowned US Open champion following Fitzpatrick’s coronation, describing his final day two-under par 68 as ‘one of the greatest rounds of golf’ he has seen at the famous championship.

The 18-time major champion said on social media: “Couldn’t be happier for a really nice young man—a terrific young man!. 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!”

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