Matthew Fitzpatrick had plenty of people by his side at The Country Club on Sunday.
And they were just as excited, if not more-so, in the moments that officially sealed his win at the US Open.
Fitzpatrick’s family were crouched down just off the green watching behind Will Zalatoris, who had a 14-foot putt to force a playoff on the 18th green. As that putt rolled just inches past the cup, his brother lost it.
His brother and parents rushed out onto the green to give him hugs after it had cleared, too, which ended with a big Father’s Day-worthy embrace between Fitzpatrick and his dad.
“My parents – I mean, I wouldn’t be [here] without them, “he said.” They did such an amazing job with me. That was the thing, they always taught me to be humble and to be down to earth, and if they’re not bringing me back down to earth, my friends are. That will always be me.
“It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, how well we’re playing, I’ll leave here tonight, and they’ll give me abuse about something, I know they will.”
Not only was it Fitzpatrick’s first major championship win – he said after that his goal was to get six in his career, as that’s what Phil Mickelson and Nick Faldo got to – but it was also his first PGA Tour win as a whole. The Englishman now has eight wins in total, with the rest coming on the DP World Tour. The celebration was completely warranted.
“It’s what you grow up dreaming of winning and I’ve worked so hard for such a long time,” he said, via The Guardian. “I had the big monkey on my back of not winning in the United States. It was all everybody talked about and to do it in a major, there’s nothing better. ”
Though the special celebration he shared with his immediate family is ones they won’t forget for a long time, it’s perhaps another family that deserves a significant amount of credit.
Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur as a teenager back in 2013 at The Country Club, which helped launch his career. He’s just the second player in history to win both the Amateur and the US Open on the same course, joining Jack Nicklaus – who did so at Pebble Beach.
During that tournament nearly a decade ago, Fitzpatrick and his family checked out of their hotel early thinking that he was not going to advance past the first 36 holes. After he made it through, however, they were connected with Will and Jennifer Fulton, who opened up their home and hosted the Fitzpatricks through the end of the week.
Fitzpatrick kept in touch with them in the years to come, and even spent Thanksgiving with them once while he was in college. So naturally, while preparing for the US Open earlier this summer, Fitzpatrick called them and got set up to stay with them again.
Clearly, that was a great idea. Fitzpatrick, thanks largely to the Fultons, feels right at home in Massachusetts.
“I never wanted to say it, but it did. It felt like it was always meant to be, ”Fitzpatrick said on SkySports. “I feel like I’ve had so many close shaves this year, I’ve played so well so many times and just came up shy… For it to happen here, it just felt right.”