US Open 2022: Matt Fitzpatrick and Will Zalatoris lead to final

-4 W Zalatoris (US), M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -3 J Rahm (Spa); -2 K Bradley (US), A Hadwin (Can), S Scheffler (US); -1 S Burns (US), R McIlroy (NI); J Dahmen (US)
Selected others:+1 G Woodland (US), S Power (Ire), A Wise (US); +2 D Johnson (USA), C Morikawa (USA); +3 J Spieth (US), J Thomas (US)

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick takes part of the final round lead of the US Open at Boston’s Brookline as he chases his first major title.

Fitzpatrick shot a two-under 68 to go to four under, tied with American Will Zalatoris, who carded a 67.

Defending champion Jon Rahm falls behind after making a double bogey on the 18th, with world number one Scottie Scheffler second under after a wild 71.

Rory McIlroy fought to a 73 and is three shots behind to one under.

Fitzpatrick will tee off next to Zalatoris at 7:45pm BST on Sunday and the BBC Sport website will have live radio and text coverage of the final round from 7pm.

Saturday is called “moving day” in the majors, but most of the movement was in the wrong direction as Brookline, the United States Golf Association and Mother Nature put together a brutal test that even the best in the world struggled with.

Just seven players finished under par for the round on a stormy day that was as much about temperament as talent, with bogeys inevitable.

It was all too much for nighttime leader Collin Morikawa. The reigning Open champion went on a devastating round of seven over 77 before dropping out when he finished with two left.

Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick both came close at the US PGA Championship last month, with Fitzpatrick, who played in the latter group at Southern Hills, joint fifth, while Zalatoris lost in a playoff to Justin Thomas.

They both still have a shot at winning their first major, but behind them are the defending champions, the Masters champion, and a four-time major winner desperate for more.

Fitzpatrick goes double for Brookline

Sheffield-born Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur title at Brookline in 2013 and he hopes the perfect storm of arrival at a well-known course, with his playing in good form and after coming close in the final major, can tip the balance in his favor.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it” [winning]† It would just mean the world,” said Fitzpatrick, who is trying to become the first non-American to win both the US Amateur and US Open.

He would join the legendary Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win both events on the same course — Nicklaus won both at Pebble Beach — if he did.

“It’s a special place for me and to go one step further and win a US Open round here would be even more special,” the Englishman added.

“The American amateur was and still is one of the greatest achievements of my career, and if I won a major here, it would definitely overtake him.

Matt Fitzpatrick is in the last group for the second big race

“My family is in town, I have some friends here too and the family I’m staying with is nice too, so I’ll have plenty of distractions, which will be good with a late start.

“I’m excited to give myself another shot at a major a month later, I’m just really proud of the way I played.”

The 27-year-old certainly mastered the course better than most on Saturday.

Two front-nine birdies wiped out an early bogey before Fitzpatrick made his stroke down, birding three four holes from the 14th to take the lead himself at five under for a closing bogey.

McIlroy and Rahm forced to fight

John Rahm
Jon Rahm wants to successfully defend his US Open title

It’s been eight years since McIlroy won his fourth major, and the Northern Irishman showed how eager he is to reap that winning feeling by fighting back from three bogeys in his first six holes.

The 33-year-old could never have worked harder for a three-over 73 than he did when he parried the last six holes of a round with just one birdie.

Despite missing three birdie putts from the inside out to begin with, his putter became his savior with eight single putts in nine holes as he battled to stay in the game.

Rahm had an eventful lap after also getting through a frustrating start. A one-handed break from behind a tree was followed by a series of three birdies into four holes on the back nine, as he briefly took the lead at five under.

However, the 27-year-old Spaniard found a fairway bunker on the 18th. He took two to escape, but plunged into more sand guarding the green, resulting in a double bogey and a one-over round of 71.

World number one Scheffler’s round had a little bit of everything, with three birdies, an eagle, four bogeys and a double bogey all adding up to a one-over round of 71.

After a chip-in eagle on Friday, the Masters champion punched a 100-yard gap in front of another eagle on par-five eighth to jump into a two-shot lead at six under.

The 25-year-old American then fell apart with two duffed chips, costing him a double bogey to start a series of five dropped shots into four holes, before a birdie at 17 sent him to a high note.

Scheffler is just two shots off the pace as he looks set to become just the sixth player to win the Masters and US Open in the same year.

Local favorite Keegan Bradley joined Scheffler at two under. Three back-nine birdies helped him shoot 69 as he gave himself the chance to win his second major, 11 years after his first.

Zalatoris hopes it’s lucky the third time

Will Zalatoris
Will Zalatoris shot the low lap of the day to share the lead

World No. 14 Zalatoris has yet to win the PGA Tour, but in his short career, the 25-year-old has finished second in two majors, including that playoff defeat to the US PGA Championship last month.

What was even more impressive than the four birdies on his card was the fact that Zalatoris made just one bogey while avoiding the mistakes that ruin the rounds of so many others.

Zalatoris was slightly ahead of the faltering leaders and led when he was on the 18th tee but cut a drive mile to the right of the fairway.

He saved a par by going up and down a bunker to show the mental toughness that defined his round.

“That 67 feels like a 61 or 62 in my book,” Zalatoris told Sky Sports. “That’s some of the most solid golf I’ve ever played.”

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