THESE are breathless times for golf. In fact, I almost ran out of puff just there, halfway through typing the word ‘breathless’. It’s been a panting, gasping old spell of late what with all that relentless LIV Golf Series palaver being immediately followed by a titanic US Open.

For some light escapism amid the general tumult, your correspondent popped along to the circus at the weekend. “Are you the clown who writes a weekly golf column?” asked the ringmaster with a crack of his whip. It was just like being back on the sports desk.

But what an intoxicating troupe. And I’m talking about the circus here not the sports desk. Acrobats, jugglers, tumblers, daredevils and a Mongolian contortionist who managed to coil herself into such a mystifying posture, I actually dislocated my own tongue trying to explain to my entranced toddler what was unravelling before his bamboozled eyes.

As for the showstopping spectacle that was the US Open? Well, you couldn’t take your eyes of it either. After the cause celebre of that aforementioned LIV Series curtain-raiser the previous week, Matt Fitzpatrick’s thrilling triumph at Brookline was a timely tonic for a game in need of some soothing PR.

In stark contrast to the cash-sodden, controversy-laden LIV thingamabob a few days earlier, the 122nd US Open was a glorious exhibition of competition with meaning at a championship of grand stature. This was proper golf.

At a turbulent time when money, money and more money is consuming the men’s game and the drooling lust for it is trashing the reputations of certain players, it was fitting that Brookline stepped into the limelight. This was the course, after all, where Francis Ouimet won the 1913 US Open as an amateur and changed the face of American golf. He remained in the unpaid ranks all his days. To play for the sake of playing and all that.

Fitzpatrick hardly walked away with sweeties, of course. His cheque for a whopping £3.15million was the biggest in major history. But this was about more than money. The Saudi-backed LIV Series may be trying to steamroll in a new future for golf with seemingly unlimited resources but the US Open was a reminder of the historic values that most players, and wider lovers of the game, cherish most.

After enduring a painful final round at the US PGA Championship a few weeks ago – Fitzpatrick was tied second after 54-holes – a hefty prize for an eventual share of fifth provided little consolation. “I came away from the US PGA and literally couldn't care less about how much I made that week,” he said. “I was just gutted that I didn't win. That's all I'm bothered about out here.”

The man known as the baby-faced assassin made amends on Sunday and a gripping championship will be rightly treasured. The old layout of Brookline’s Country Club stood firm against the might of the modern-day power game while Fitzpatrick stood firm too. 

Yes, there were one or two wobbles – wobbles can be par for the course when you’re at the sharp end on US Open Sunday – but the Sheffield man was as sturdy as a case of cutlery forged in the Steel City. Hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation in the manic maelstrom of major championship Sunday was a heck of a statistic.

His approach from the fairway bunker on the last, meanwhile, is now being hailed as the greatest salvage operation from the sand on the 72nd hole of a major since oor ain’ Sandy Lyle’s 7-iron out of the trap at Augusta in 1988. Heady praise indeed.

“One of the great iron shots under pressure I’ve ever seen,” said the 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus in the aftermath. “Just a bit of hit and hope,” was Fitzpatrick’s chuckling assessment of a defining moment.

In the search for those little gains in this game of very small margins and fine lines, Fitzpatrick’s discipline, dedication and diligence is renowned. Apparently, he’s scribbled down notes of every practice shot he’s hit since he was about 14 or 15 and logged it all into a spreadsheet. 

I was just imaging employing a similar process with my own hoiks, sclaffs, duffs and skitters on the driving range. The data typed in would be so offensive, I’d be charged under the Computer Misuse Act.

It’s Fitzpatrick’s tireless and forensic attention to detail that maketh the golfing man, along with a good honest Yorkshire up-bringing that keeps him as down to earth as a flat cap and whippet.

Golf has revelled in another of its great days. As for the days ahead? Well, expect a return to more LIV-related commotion as Greg Norman prepares to unveil more high-profile defectors for the next event of the $255million series in Portland later this month.

The PGA Tour bosses are set to hold a meeting with players today to lay out further plans to combat the general upheaval. The DP World Tour heid bummers are also poised to explain what they are going to do later this week as the established circuits, who are in a strategic alliance, attempt to navigate waters so choppy, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear golf crop up on the Shipping Forecast.  

Amid the menacing storm clouds of uncertainty, at least Fitzpatrick and the US Open provided a much-needed silver lining.