Matt Fitzpatrick's bunker shot at 72nd hole 'as good' as Sandy Lyle's in 1988 Masters

It’s been hailed as the best bunker shot at the 72nd hole in a major since Sandy Lyle’s 7-iron at Augusta that saw him become a Masters champion in 1988.

“As good” was how winning Ryder Cup Paul Azinger summed up Matt Fitzpatrick’s effort from sand as he joined Lyle as a major champion in similar circumstances in a dramatic end to the 122nd US Open at Brookline.

Leading by a shot, the Englishman tugged his tee shot at the 18th in the final round into a bunker and it initially looked as though he’d be prevented from going for the green by a clump of rough in the middle of the trap.

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Fitzpatrick later admitted that a fairway bunker shot was the last thing he’d have wanted at such a moment, but, with just enough room to escape, he produced one of the shots of his life to find the heart of the green.

Matt Fitzpatrick plays his second shot from a fairway bunker at the 18th hole in the final round of the 122nd US Open. Picture: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images.

It was the 17th green that the 27-year-old had found in regulation on the last day and, though playing partner Will Zalatoris came agonisingly close to forcing a play-off with a birdie attempt that shaved the edge of the hole, a two-putt par saw Fitzpatrick come out on top in the season’s third major.

“One good thing is the way the lie was is it forced me not to go towards the pin,” he said afterwards. “It kind of forced me to go well left.

“I feel like I'm a fast player and it just all happened so fast. It was like just kind of natural ability took over and just played the shot that was at hand, if I was a junior trying to hit it close.

“I just committed to the shot we kind of planned and came out of it with a squeezy fade. Yeah, it was amazing - one of the best shots I ever hit, there's no doubt about it.

“I just felt I had to hit the green. If I could hit the green, if I made par, it puts pressure on Will. I knew full well Will was going to hit it close.”

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