10 Stats to Know: Final Round, 122nd U.S. Open
It’s only fitting that on a golf course synonymous with the history of the game, history repeated itself in 2022.
Nine years after winning the U.S. Amateur at The Country Club, Matt Fitzpatrick returned to Massachusetts and completed the championship circle. The Englishman authored history-shaping shots throughout the final round, defeating an array of superstar challengers.
Here are the 10 Stats to Know from the thrilling final round of the 122nd U.S. Open:
1. With his victory, Matt Fitzpatrick became just the second man to win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open at the same course. Jack Nicklaus won both titles at Pebble Beach, getting his second U.S. Amateur there in 1961, and his third U.S. Open title 11 years later. On the women’s side, Juli Inkster won both U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Open at the same venue, doing so at Prairie Dunes in Kansas.
Fitzpatrick is the 13th player overall to win both the Amateur and Open in his career – but the first ever from outside the United States to pull off the feat. In addition to those two titles, Fitzpatrick was also the low amateur in the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Only three players since 1950 have earned all three of those distinctions: Fitzpatrick, Nicklaus and Jerry Pate.
2. Fitzpatrick was exemplary with his approach play in the final round, missing only one green in regulation. Over the last 30 years, only two other major winners have hit 17 greens in the final round of their victory (none have hit all 18 GIR): Nick Faldo in the 1996 Masters, and Brooks Koepka, five years ago in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. For the week, Matt tied for the field lead in greens in regulation, hitting 72.2 percent. Since 2010, he’s the fourth U.S. Open champion to lead or co-lead the field in that stat, along with Rory McIlroy (2011), Dustin Johnson (2016) and Koepka (2017).
Fitzpatrick notably has improved in every strokes-gained statistic this season over last. It’s only fitting, then, that he was excellent through the bag this week – he ranked second in the field in strokes gained off-the-tee, led the field in strokes gained around the green, and racked up 14 par-4 birdies, three more than anyone else in the field.
3. In 2013, Fitzpatrick snapped a 102-year drought for English champions at the U.S. Amateur. The drought wasn’t quite as long for the Open – Justin Rose won at Merion just nine years ago. Besides Rose and Fitzpatrick, the only English player in the last 90 years to win the U.S. Open was Tony Jacklin, who raced to a seven-shot victory at Hazeltine National in 1970. Jacklin was the lone European U.S. Open winner for an 83-year stretch, but we have now had six different champions from Europe since 2010 alone.
4. Will Zalatoris had a 14-foot birdie attempt on the final hole to force a playoff with Fitzpatrick, but missed. This marks the second year in a row a player has finished runner-up at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open in succession – Louis Oosthuizen did it in 2021. Zalatoris continues to pound on the door in major championships, as no player has averaged more strokes gained total per round in majors than he has since the beginning of 2020.
This was the sixth time Zalatoris has finished in the top 10 in his first nine major starts. The last player to do that was Argentine Open Championship stalwart Antonio Cerda in 1957. Zalatoris led all players this week in average approach shot proximity to the hole.
5. Scottie Scheffler finished one shot back in his attempt to join Tiger Woods as the only reigning OWGR No. 1 players to win the U.S. Open. This is the fourth time since the World Ranking began in 1986 that the top player finished runner-up at this championship: Tiger Woods did it twice, and Brooks Koepka did it at Pebble Beach three years ago.
Scheffler was vying to become just the fourth player to win the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Open, along with Woods, Johnny Miller and Jordan Spieth. With a win, he also would have been the first since Woods in 2000 to have five PGA Tour wins in a season before July 1. Scheffler wound up ranked second in the field for the week in strokes-gained approach, trailing only Keegan Bradley.
6. Hideki Matsuyama shot 65 on Sunday, the low round of the championship and his second career round of 65 or lower at the U.S. Open. Matsuyama is just the ninth player in U.S. Open history to record multiple rounds of 65 or better at the U.S. Open in his career. Hideki was bolstered by a stellar performance on the greens in the final round, gaining 4.57 strokes, most of any player in the field on Sunday.
7. Rory McIlroy closed his U.S. Open with 69, his 15th career round in the 60s at this championship – most of any European player all-time. With a tie for fifth this week, McIlroy has now finished in the top 10 in each of the last four U.S. Opens. This is also the first time in McIlroy’s career that has recorded a top 10 in each of the season’s first three major championships.
McIlroy led the field this week in strokes-gained putting, just the third time in his professional career he has done that over the course of 72 holes. In the other two instances – 2018 at Bay Hill and last fall in Nevada – McIlroy won the tournament.
8. After a disappointing third round, Collin Morikawa rebounded Sunday with a sparkling 66. After hitting just three fairways and eight greens in regulation on Saturday, the reigning Open champion hit nine and 15, respectively, in his stellar final round. Morikawa is the only player to finish in the top-five in each of the last two U.S. Opens, having wound up tied for fourth last summer at Torrey Pines.
Morikawa will head to St. Andrews to attempt to become the first back-to-back Open champion since Padraig Harrington in 2007 and 2008.
9. The Country Club played to a scoring average of 72.09 in Round 4, 1.44 strokes easier than it did on Saturday. It was just the ninth time in U.S. Open history that the field scoring average dropped by that much or more from Round 3 to Round 4. The 10th hole played as the toughest for the week, averaging nearly four-tenths of a stroke over par.
For the week, holes 1 through 4 played to a combined score of 432 over par. The next four holes – 5 through 8 – played 63 under, a mere difference of 495 strokes.
10. The 2023 U.S. Open will be held at The Los Angeles Country Club, the first time the championship will be contested at that venue. LACC has hosted three USGA championships previously: the 1930 Women’s Amateur, 1954 Junior Amateur and 2017 Walker Cup. It last hosted the Los Angeles Open in 1940, won that week by Lawson Little – who would win the U.S. Open that year at Canterbury Golf Club in Ohio.
Justin Ray is the head of content for Twenty First Group. He has also worked as a senior researcher at ESPN and Golf Channel.
Jun 18, 2022