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Scottie Scheffler Falls Short of U.S. Open Title

The Texas product finished one shot out of the lead, but had his chances to win his second career major championship

Scottie Scheffler’s shot at a second major championship this year fell just short at the U.S. Open on Sunday, as he finished in a tie for second place at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

Scheffler shot a final-round 3-under-par 67, his second 67 of the tournament. Like Saturday, Scheffler was in the lead at one point on Sunday. And, like Saturday, it was a bad stretch of golf on the back nine that cost him the Open.

Matt Fitzpatrick, who shared the lead at the start of the day, won the title, finishing at 6-under with a final-round 68, his third 68 of the event.

Scheffler, who won the Masters in April, was tied with Will Zalatoris, who was playing in the final group with Fitzpatrick.

The finish came with drama, as Scheffler was the leader in the clubhouse when he finished Fitzpatrick wrapped up the 17th hole with a par. That missed birdie attempt on 18 by Scheffler became critical down the stretch. Had he made it, Scheffler would have been in a playoff with Fitzpatrick for the title.

Fitzpatrick and Zalatoris were playing together, and at 18 Zalatoris found the fairway, but Fitzpatrick put his tee shot into the left bunker, ensuring that his path to winning the Open would require more work.

Fitzpatrick hit a clutch 159-yard shot out of the bunker to about 20 feet above the hole, close to where Scheffler put his approach 15 minutes earlier. Zalatoris put his 129-yard approach past Fitzpatrick’s and spun it back inside of Fitzpatrick’s ball.

Fitzpatrick putted first and guided the ball to within two feet and then quickly putted out for his par to remain at 6-under. Zalatoris, the only player with a chance to force a playoff, saw his birdie putt burned the left edge.

Scheffler started the day two shots back at 2-under par and immediately went to work, posting birdies on four of the first six holes on the front nine to move to 6-under, a mark he reached at one point on Saturday.

The birdie at the first came with Scheffler hitting his approach shot out of a divot to within 10 feet of the cup. He then drained a 13-footer on the second for birdie, which at the time moved him into a tie for the lead.

Scheffler’s long birdie on the fourth put him in the lead, one shot ahead of the field. By the sixth hole, Scheffler was in a tie with Fitzpatrick for the lead, and his birdie there broke that tie.

At the turn, Scheffler had back-to-back bogeys. At 10, he spun out of his drive and found a good lie in the rough on the right side. He did the same on his approach shot, which flew through the green and into a backside bunker. From there, Scheffler blasted out about 10 feet past the cup and then missed the par putt to the right, and that dropped him out of the tie for the lead with Fitzpatrick.

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At 11, a short par-3 that he double-bogeyed on Saturday, he put his tee shot on the green, but well past the hole, leaving him with a putt that had to go uphill and then downhill. He lagged the birdie attempt to about five feet, but his par putt lipped off the right side of the cup and he fell back to 4-under and two shots back of Fitzpatrick.

Scheffler was steady after that, and when he reached 17 he was just a shot back, even though he hadn’t gained a stroke. But that changed on the 362-yard par-4. After a perfect tee shot and an 80-yard pitch, Scheffler had a five-foot birdie to tie for the lead. But, as he walked to the green, Fitzpatrick birdied No. 15 to push his lead to two shots. Scheffler drained the eight-footer for birdie, but he was still a shot back.

At 18, he put his tee shot in perfect position less than 180 yards from the green and then hit his approach about 25 feet past the cup to give him a shot at birdie. He gave it a good roll, but he burned the left edge of the cup and had to settle for par.

The other former Texas player in the field, Jordan Spieth, shot a final-round 74 to finish 4-over for the event and in a tie for 37th.

Scheffler is in the midst of the best season of his PGA Tour career, as he is No. 1 in the FedEx Cup Standings.

He capped his incredible stretch of spring golf at the Masters in April, as he won his first major championship by five shots with a 12-under-par score. At that point, he was already the world’s No. 1-ranked player, and he’s still in that spot. He became the first player to make the Masters his first win after becoming the world’s No. 1 player since Ian Woosnam did it in 1991.

Before that Scheffler had a breakthrough, winning his first three PGA Tour events — the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC-Match Play at Austin Country Club. He’s already won $11.3 million this season.

Since his Masters win, Scheffler has played in five tournament and missed the cut just one time, which just happened to be at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, where he shot a 6-over 146.

He finished in a tie for 18th at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, and in a tie for 15th at the AT&T Byron Nelson. After missing the cut at the PGA, he came in second at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth and finished in a tie for 18th at the Canadian Open last week.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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