The U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., didn’t fail to disappoint as golf’s biggest names were battling it out at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.
England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick battled best down the stretch to score his maiden win in America as a professional having won the 2013 U.S. Amateur at Brookline.
Just when it looked like he was going to replicate Mito Pereira’s collapse at the PGA Championship, Fitzpatrick held his nerve and played one of his finest bunker shots on the 18th.
Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler were licking their lips as it looked like Fitzpatrick could drop a shot. However, the unfazed 27-year-old stepped up to the plate and hit a home run.
“If there was one shot that I’ve struggled with this year that I just do not want, it’s a fairway bunker shot,” Fitzpatrick told CBS Sports. “I guess [caddie] Billy [Foster] just took over. It’s one of the best shots I’ve hit of all-time. When I saw it leave the sand and I felt the strike, I couldn’t be happier.”
It might have been nine years between his greatest amateur and professional achievement, but the world is Fitzpatrick’s oyster. He might not be the strongest or most physically gifted player on the Tour, but Fitzpatrick works harder than many and it was a deserved victory.
His Open Championship odds were slashed into +2000, putting him on the sixth line of betting behind the big names. Rory McIlroy is the current +1000 favorite, with Jon Rahm, Scheffler, Justin Thomas, and Collin Morikawa hot on his heels.
So Close for Zalatoris
It’s becoming a broken record for Will Zalatoris, who recorded his second consecutive second-place finish at a major.
The American lost in a playoff to Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship and he had to settle for second again. He now has six top-10s, including three runner-up finishes, at the majors and he’s set to win a tournament.
“This one, in particular, hurts pretty hard,” Zalatoris said. “I’m three shots away from practically being a — having a chance of being a three-time major champion. A bounce here or there.”
Bettors are cashing in with top-5 and top-10 betting markets but Zalatoris is desperately seeking his maiden win.
His odds for the Open Championship firmed into +2500, and given the way he handled the tough conditions at The Country Club, he shouldn’t have any problem with the wet and windy conditions at St Andrews.
The Chase Theory is in full swing for Zalatoris, who is worth backing at the sportsbook until he wins.
Scheffler Shows Why He’s the Best
There is little doubt that Scheffler is the best player in the world right now. He’s ranked No. 1 and Sunday’s effort to finish only one shot back of Fitzpatrick proved why.
Scheffler hit the lead at -6 on Saturday before ruining all his hard work. However, lesser players would have given up and thrown in the towel. Not Scheffler, who battled back to recapture the lead on Sunday.
It wasn’t meant to be for the Masters champion, but he lost no admirers. He’s swinging it smoothly and if it wasn’t for a couple of mis-hit wedges on the back nine, he would have won his fifth tournament in quick succession.
We’re surprised by the +1300 available for the Open Championship. We thought he would have firmed into favoritism for the fourth and final major of the year, so bettors get value betting online odds.
St Andrews is a course he could dominate and he won’t be worried about the conditions. He plays best when the weather isn’t at its best, which is typically the case at St Andrews.
We expect Scheffler’s odds to firm for the July feature.