Brooks Koepka battled through two tough afternoons at Shinnecock Hills over the weekend to become the first repeat victor at the U.S. Open since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 and just the second since Ben Hogan in 1950-51. A year ago in Erin Hills, Koepka reached an unusual result of 16-under, and this year at Shinnecock Hills, he did remarkably well despite the course conditions.
American Brooks Koepka putted brilliantly to win the U.S. Open by one stroke at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday, becoming the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend his title. You have got to be a great putter and just kind of let things roll off your back.
Koepka had an eventful day after holding a lead through the first five holes, suffering a set back in the middle, and closing out strong with the final seven holes. "It's truly special and I'm honored".
Koepka was asked if winning the U.S. Open ever gets old.
"Did Dustin just win?" one of the women allegedly asked, before Brooks Koepka tapped in a bogey to secure back-to-back US Open titles. "I knew it was going to be that much more hard [than previous year at Erin Hills in Wisconsin]".More news: Trump Tariff On German Cars Threatened As GM Goes South
After admitting they went "too far" with their course set-up for round three, USGA officials applied "appropriate levels" of water to the greens at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday night and Sunday morning, as well as selecting some more favourable pin positions. The average score was 75.33 on the par-70 course, but the afternoon rounds among the leaders skewed much higher.
Koepka is the seventh player person to win the U.S. Open in back-to-back years, a group that began with Anderson from 1903-05 and includes Bobby Jones (1929-30) and Ben Hogan (1950-51). Koepka pulled his approach to the 18th off the grandstand, pitched on to about 12 feet, and two-putted for a bogey. Tony Finau and Daniel Berger started the weekend 11 shots out of the lead.
"... We come off pretty much shell-shocked". "He was busy grinding his tail off and I was busy grinding mine". "The Open Championship I think suits (my game) very well, and we always seem to play (well) at the PGA". "It would have been fun to duel it out with him coming down the end, having to make some putts".
Finau, playing in the final group with Berger, closed with a double bogey at the 72nd hole for a 72 that left him fifth on 285 - one stroke behind Masters champion Patrick Reed.
Yet Spieth insists that a return to a tournament he won past year, albeit at a different course, should not offer too much encouragement. "I just needed a good start". He is a monstrous ball-striker and he has intellectual property that dates to his early days as a pro, when he eschewed the traditional American path and headed off to Europe, playing the Challenge Tour and then the main European Tour, where he was rookie of the year in 2014. Two years later he was a major champion, and now a two-time victor.