Brooks Koepka has become the first player in 29-years to win back-to-back US Open’s.
A whacky US Open has finished with American Brooks Koepka beating a rampant Tommy Fleetwood by a shot to claim consecutive US Open golf titles.
Fleetwood’s incredible course record equaling 7-under 63 saw him in serious contention at 2-over par for the tournament, and in the clubhouse before the final group had made the turn.
With the carnage that Shinnecock Hills (and the USGA) dished up on Saturday many thought it was good enough to see the Englishman raise his first major trophy but in the end Fleetwood was denied by Koepka’s solid finish.
“It’s incredible. I looked at all these names a million times, it felt like, last year, just looking at everybody,” Koepka said.
“To have my name on there twice is pretty incredible, and to go back to back is even more extraordinary. It feels so special. I’m truly honored to go back to back.”
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 18, 2018
Koepka went into the final round in a four-way tie for the leader with Johnson, Tony Finau and Daniel Berger.
Playing in the penultimate group alongside good friend Johnson it was Koepka’s scrambling abilities that overshadowed the power game that the strongly-built American is more well-known for.
After making a birdie at the 10th hole, Koepka made a superb bogey (if one exists) at the par-4 11th. A chip out of heavy rough beside the green went through the green into the bunker, where Koepka made a fantastic up-and-down.
When Johnson missed his par putt to stay two shots behind, Koepka had suddenly made a confidence boosting bogey to take down the stretch.
“Starting with the great bogey I made at 11, I think that was big because, from where we were, I want to say I would have taken double when we were in jail. You can’t miss it there. To make that big of a mistake, you just want to walk away with bogey.” Koepka said.
“Luckily, that putt went in, and that built some momentum coming down the stretch and made me feel a little bit better with the putter.”
Berger and Finau had avoided the chaotic conditions on Saturday by playing early in the day but neither could find a way to push for the US Open trophy on Sunday.
Johnson has every right to feel a little cheesed off at tournament organisers. Johnson was playing a different golf course on Saturday afternoon to the one Finau and Berger played that led to two bogeys to close his third round.
But he too couldn’t mount a serious challenge to Fleetwood or Koepka on Sunday throwing in as many bogeys as birdies in his closing round 70, eventually finishing in third place and two back.
Aaron Baddeley finished as the best placed Australian carding an impressive 1-under 69 to close his US Open at 12-over par in a tie for 25th place. Baddeley was just one of two Aussies (out of nine) to make the cut at the US Open with Marc Leishman finishing at 15-over in 45th place.