The US Open shows what really matters in golf

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — A week that began with Phil Mickelson speaking without saying anything of substance ended with a speechless Matt Fitzpatric

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — A week that began with Phil Mickelson speaking without saying anything of substance ended with a speechless Matt Fitzpatrick at its peak.

In the midst of the conflict that has rocked him, the US Open gave golf meaning.

“Speechless,” Fitzpatrick said moments after a hit that will remain in the memory of the tournament. With the 9-iron, he bunkered the ball into a fairway on the 18th hole of the Brookline course, leaving it 18 feet from the pin and on his way to his one-stroke victory.

“You grow up dreaming of this,” said the Englishman. “It’s something I had been fighting for a long time. My first victory in the United States. And nothing better than achieving it in a major”.

Of course, some money was also discussed on Sunday. Fitzpatrick won the US Amateur at The Country Club in 2013, which gave him a gold trophy and the opportunity to contest three majors. This title, on the other hand, earned him a check for 3.15 million dollars, the juiciest bag in the history of the contest.

Masters champion and world number one Scottie Scheffler finished second to Will Zalatoris for more than $1.5 million. This allowed Scheffler to set a PGA season record of nearly $12.9 million, easily surpassing the mark set by Jordan Spieth in 2015. And there are still two full months left on the schedule.

Charl Schwartzel won 4.75 million a week ago in the LIV Golf series in Saudi Arabia. He was in a tournament with 54 holes and no court, with 48 players and only four among the top 50 in the world.

No one will ever mistake that tournament for the toughest test in golf.

It wasn’t until the first round of the US Open that attention was diverted from Greg Norman’s lucrative project and focused on the highest level of competition. And the wait was worth it. This US Open delivered in every way.

The Country Club, which hosted its fourth US Open and its first since 1988, was the ideal test to identify the best player of the week. The par 4s were long enough, a par 3 that adjusted for elevation was less than 100 yards and greens where only the best shots could succeed.

It was the fourth year in a row that the US Open champion had added his first major, though Fitzpatrick is hardly a surprise. He knew Brookline better than anyone after coming through six matches to win the US Open, and it was the fourth time he had cracked the top 10 in his last five tournaments. He came out in the final group for the second major in a row.

Among the contenders were four of the top seven in the world rankings. In addition, among the top 10 places, there were three who had to play a 36-hole classification to get their place in the tournament. One of them was Denny McCarthy, who barely made the cut and with a 68-68 weekend finished in a tie for seventh place.

And all of this came a week after Rory McIlroy won the Canadian Open, the fourth-longest-running national open, in a tense duel with Justin Thomas.

LIV Golf and its motto of being a “force for good” will return. The only thing that stirred more than the wind of the weekend were the rumors about which players will be trying to cash in big next.

Only four of the 17 players who participated in the first event of the LIV tour made the cut at the US Open. The best placed was Dustin Johnson, who signed birdies in two of his last three holes to tie for 24th position.

And Michaelson? He didn’t even get to play on the weekend. Do not worry. His next tournament in the Saudi Super League will not be cut, except for a lot of money and little relevance.