2022 U.S. Open: How Matt Fitzpatrick made distance gains that even amazed his peers
BROOKLINE, Mass. – Scottie Scheffler, usually more reserved in these situations, couldn’t help but offer his thoughts on the recently crowned U.S. Open champion, Matt Fitzpatrick.
“I don’t know if you guys noticed, but I feel like he has made some extreme improvements off the tee in a matter of months,” said Scheffler, who tied for second with Will Zalatoris, a shot behind Fitzpatrick, on Sunday at The Country Club.
“I played with him in Austin this year, and he was not hitting it nearly as far as he is now. I don’t know what he was doing. Maybe he was on the Bryson [DeChambeau] program or something. He’s hitting the ball really well and has been knocking on the door for a long time. He definitely deserves this win.”
Fitzpatrick entered the week ranked outside the top 100 on Tour in driving distance, at just 298 yards per drive. He averaged just over 309 yards this week, which tied for 13th longest in the field.
“I’ve done my drug test, and it was negative, so we’re all good,” Fitzpatrick quipped in his winner’s press conference.
He then added how, since 2020, he’s spent considerable time working with trainer Mike Walker and bio-mechanist Sasho Mackenzie, the latter of whom gave him a speed-training regimen called The Stack System.
“I’ve been doing that religiously week in and week out,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s like going to the gym basically. It’s like a training program. I’ll be honest, it’s worked wonders. I feel like maybe three years ago if I was in this position, four years ago, and I was playing with Will in the final group, I’d be concerned that I’m going to be 15, 20 [yards] behind him. And I felt comfortable all day that I was going to be past him, which to me, gives me confidence obviously going into the next shot knowing that you’ve got less club.
“I don’t know. There’s a bit of a mentality thing that when you’re hitting it past people, it’s quite nice.”