Science | PSHE

Moment of magic enters sporting history

Is luck the key to winning? Matt Fitzpatrick defied the world's best golfers to claim his first major title with a one-shot victory in the US Open yesterday. How did he do it? Seeing his ball land in a bunker was the last thing Matt Fitzpatrick wanted. He was playing the last hole in the final round at BrooklineA golf club near Boston. Founded in 1882, it is one of the oldest in the US., neck-and-neck with Scottie ShefflerA 25-year-old American who is currently the world number one. and Will ZalatorisA 25-year-old American who came second in last year’s Masters, the first he had competed in.. And now he faced a treacherous sandpit. To get onto the green, Fitzpatrick needed not only to dig his ball out of this bunker, but lift it over a second one. He played the shot and prayed. The ball landed just 20 feet from the hole. Then it rolled a couple of feet nearer. Fitzpatrick putted twice to finish on 68. But Zalatoris could still equal his score. He bent down to make a straightforward putt – and missed. Fitzpatrick hugged his caddy, Billy Foster. At 18, he had won the US amateur championship on the same course. Now 27, he was the first non-American to win both titles. "It's what you grow up dreaming of," he said. Former US Ryder CupA trophy competed for every other year by a team representing the US and one representing Europe. captain Paul Azinger compared his escape from the bunker to a legendary shot made by the great Sandy LyleA Scottish golfer who was the first player from Britain to win the Masters. at AugustaA club in Georgia where the US Masters tournament is held each year. in 1988. Rory McIlroy, who finished fifth and has not won a majorThe four major golf tournaments are the British Open, the US Open, the US Masters and the PGA Championship. for eight years, emphasises the importance of positive thinking. “Missed opportunities are better than not contending at all. Sooner or later it's going to be my day and I'm going to get one." Fitzpatrick has been described as “the most methodical and disciplined golfer on the planet”. According to Billy Foster, “his work ethic is like no other".  Since the age of 15, he has kept a record of every shot he has played. According to his father, “if somebody spent a week with him, you’d think he’s crazy".  “There’s just a dedication to getting better each day,” says his brother Alex. “The 1% every day gets him there and separates him from everyone else.” He is prepared to try anything, however weird: “I’d rather win than worry about looking stupid.” Is luck the key to winning? Rating fate Yes: You can do everything in your power to win, but whether you do depends on how things go on the day. If Zalatoris had not missed his vital last put, he might well have come out on top.  

Continue Reading

The Day is an independent, online, subscription-based news publication for schools, focusing on the big global issues beneath the headlines. Our dedicated newsroom writes news, features, polls, quizzes, translations… activities to bring the wider world into the classroom. Through the news we help children and teachers develop the thinking, speaking and writing skills to build a better world. Our stories are a proven cross-curricular resource published at five different reading levels for ages 5 to 19. The Day has a loyal and growing membership in over 70 countries and its effectiveness is supported by case studies and teacher endorsements.

Start your free trial Already have an account? Log in / register