The 27-year-old outlasted world number one Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatores with one punch after a thrilling battle with the American duo in Brooklyn, Massachusetts.
Victory sees World No. 18 as only the second – and first non-American – player to win both the US Amateur and US Open at the same venue, having won the Country Club in 2013. Jack Nicklaus is the only other golfer to achieve this feat after his victories on the Pebble Beach in 1961 and 1972.
It also gives Fitzpatrick $3.15 million of the $17.5 million prize pool, the largest bet in major tournament history.
68, 70 and 68 in the first three rounds saw him arrive as co-leader along with Zatores en route to the crucial day, as his third 68 was enough to win a single shot at 6-lower.
“The feeling is out of this world,” Fitzpatrick told reporters.
“It’s so cliched, but that’s what I dreamed of as a kid. To make it happen, I can retire tomorrow as a happy man.”
Born and raised in the Yorkshire town of Sheffield, Fitzpatrick couldn’t resist being compared to his beloved football team Sheffield United.
“I’m the same deal – it’s not expected to do well, it’s not expected to be successful,” he said.
“I feel like I definitely work hard for it, and where I grew up that is the mentality of everyone out there… the mentality of the underdog. You work for what you get.”
Greater torment for Zulatoris
The narrow defeat provided more heartbreak for Zatores, who has finished second in three majors in recent years. The 25-year-old missed the 2021 Masters Championship by just one shot before losing to Justin Thomas in the playoffs at the PGA Championship in May.
Despite losing with the same margin of error, Zalatores said Sunday’s narrow loss would take longer to process than the Masters.
“It’s on fire,” Zatores told reporters. “Obviously we are doing the right things.
“I would have been paying a lot of money for about an inch and a half and would probably be a three-time main champ at this point.
“It’s especially painful, but it’s motivating. I have to keep doing what I’m doing. I know I’ll get one sooner or later.”
Meanwhile, Schaeffler narrowly missed adding to his stunning calendar year with his second major win after taking the Masters in April and adding three more PGA Tour wins.
With his 3 under 67 finishes short of any of Fitzpatrick’s rounds, the world didn’t drop holes.
“This week, I scored some of the worst shots of my career and hit some of my best, so it’s been a choppy weekend,” Scheffler told reporters.
“Hat to Fitzy. He golfed really well and definitely deserved to win this event.”
Hideki Matsuyama took the tournament’s best 65 card to finish fourth with a triple-less, while Colin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy shared fifth by one stroke.
Hectic day last day
With pairs playing times ranked in ascending order on the leaderboard, Scheffler’s great start saw World No. 1 open with consecutive sparrows leveling with the leading duo just before the tee.
Two holes later, the 25-year-old was a 5-year-old with another birdie for fourth place to become the all-time leader, although Fitzpatrick immediately responded with his own birdie to keep up.
Schaeffler’s lively start offered a stark contrast to that of Zatores, who, after struggling to equal the opening slot, launched a back-to-back bogey to slide down the leaderboard.
But Zlatori’s reaction was as certain as his initial landing. Having saved twice to hold the ship, the American shot four birds over the next six holes to chase Scheffler and Fitzpatrick.
Remarkably, for all of the final round’s vibrant ups and downs after 13 holes, the picture effectively resembled the start of the day when leaders Fitzpatrick and Zollatoris Scheffler led.
The trio would have been amazed had it not been for some of Fitzpatrick’s exploits in the 13th. Forty yards from the hole, the Englishman landed a stunning downhill throw to equalize a bird, and celebrated the monster’s performance with a roar and punch.
The only difference from the night leaderboard was that Scheffler now drops once instead of two. Torn into a corner by five classes and four birds, his back nine started with a snail’s pace with a cascading bogey that took him 4 down overall.
Then a seismic shift. On the 16th, Zatores was hopping around and could only watch Fitzpatrick read an excellent birdie to open a two-stroke lead that lasted just minutes, while Schaeffler finished in 17th to push his countryman into second for the funnel.
Schaeffler’s final goal narrowly missed a repeat of the lead’s tie-breaker on the 18th hole, adding to the pressure on Fitzpatrick, who put his shot into the penultimate hole.
But as if he was enjoying a free-wheeling run with friends, the Englishman smiled and laughed after returning home before taking the lead with one shot to the last tee.
On the occasion of an exciting final day, Fitzpatrick appeared to be in trouble after his tee shot hit the bunker, but the Englishman came back out of the sand with a stunning shot to find the green.
The Zulatoris responded with an excellent approach on his own to ensure the Major moved on to the last shot, but after Fitzpatrick’s shot was fired up, he wasn’t able to summon the jumper he needed to force the checkout process.
The respected Fitzpatrick retreated as he waited for his rival to finish before Zatores came home to spark scenes of unbridled joy – and plenty of tears – from the Englishman and his team.