The tie for fifth was still Fitzpatrick’s best result in a major and his seventh top-10 finish in just 12 events this season, while his 2013 US Amateur victory at Brookline means he returns to Boston for the 122nd US Open with fond memories.
“I’ve been back a few times since and love coming back here,” Fitzpatrick said. “Obviously, I loved having my family here the whole week and having my brother (Alex) on the bag was really special.
“It’s a memory that will live with me forever. I can’t believe it’s nine years ago really. It’s crazy how fast it’s gone.
“I’m just really looking forward to it. It’s been on my radar for years, ever since I knew it was obviously coming here.
“I’m staying with the family I stayed with when I played the Amateur here and my parents are here, as well, so I’m just really excited for the week more than anything.
“If I look back at my game nine years ago, I would say I’m the same player but a very different player. My strengths are still my strengths, but they’ve just got better in my opinion.
“I think looking at what I’ve achieved, I think sometimes maybe I don’t give myself enough credit for what I have done, but I’m always trying to get better, I’m always trying to do things better and find ways I can improve.”
Fitzpatrick famously makes detailed notes of every shot he hits on the course, but has not had time to look back in detail on Southern Hills due to a busy schedule on and off the course.
“I’ve still not really had a chance to do a full reflection, to be fair,” the two-time Ryder Cup player said. “I was home for a few days and then left to go to a wedding and then this is my third week (competing) in a row.
“Obviously, it was disappointing at first when you come off the golf course and sort of the realization that you had a chance to win and you’ve not taken it.
“But it’s funny, I was actually more angry about my finish in 2021 when I tripled the 17th at Kiawah than I was finishing the way I finished a few weeks ago.
“I think that probably shows me how much I’ve come along as a player and also maybe just sort of got better mentally, just kind of accepting it is what it is, and more taking the positives out of it than the negatives.
“Billy (Foster, his caddie) has obviously experienced that a lot himself, and he just sort of said the same thing. The more chances you give yourself, you’re eventually going to knock one of them off.
“I think that’s what he told me – and that’s what I believe in.”