Brooks Koepka wins US Open, 1st repeat victor in 29 years

Tanya Simon
June 18, 2018

The U.S. Open is being broadcast by FOX.

Fleetwood and his caddie Ian Finnis inspected the uphill putt carefully.

At least not the ones who teed off in the afternoon.

However, Finau entered the 18th hole tied for third place.

"I don't want to say I didn't think I could do it, but I knew that it was going to be that much more hard", Koepka said of winning a second major. There was a high, towering six-iron from 196 yards that got him staring at such a mouth-watering putt. His five at the last was inconsequential but the up and down from the bunker for a four on the uphill short 11th (a hole not unlike the 15th at Kingston Heath but not quite as good) was critical. "After you make one, the hole seems to open up for you", he said. I finished with a 72 today, plus 2.

A second U.S. Open victory would have vaulted his status and locked down his No. 1 ranking, and it certainly would have erased memories of 2015.

Koepka had the day's highlight, a 61-foot putt to save par at No. 14.

Koepka shot 16 under par past year at Erin Hills for his first major victory, winning by four shots.

Stuart Manley closed with a 3-under 68 and beat Grant Forrest with a par on the third sudden-death playoff hole in the Hauts de France Open on the European Challenge Tour.

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The crowds began to flock from across the course mid-way through the back nine, feeling the magnetic pull of the floppy-haired Fleetwood, extra-informed fans aided by their smartphone scoreboards and complimentary radio headsets (a must!). And then almost 30 feet at 15, a putt that he walked in with a putter raise, a fist pump, and a little howl to the growing group of spectators.

That didn't go over well with Ian Poulter after a 76. Hall of Famer Gary Player called it "the worst golf course I have ever seen in the 63 years as a professional golfer", and Henrik Stenson said the greens were like "putting on broccoli". But when it's like that, you just guarantee you're going to get a superstar victor. He had broken out of the pack with three birdies in the first four holes. He was presented with a nine-footer for a birdie on the 18th that would have been just the second 62 in the majors after Branden Grace's breakthrough at Royal Birkdale 12 months ago. "Fleet-Wood!" He doffed his Nike cap in their direction.

"I wanted that crowd to be really loud and memorable but it was still great". It was an incredible feeling for me. "As the round went on, more and more people gathered", he said.

The course was very playable in the morning, as attested by matching rounds of 66 by Daniel Berger and Tony Finau, but it was a different beast in the afternoon after the winds and low humidity baked the greens to a crisp.

Fox TV assigned unusual to be the announcer to follow Koepka on every hole - a logical choice but one that could have spooked some players. Fleetwood retreated to the player dining area to watch with his wife and infant child, Frankie. As historic a player as Tom Watson won five of his eight major titles in just one event - the British Open.

Johnson finished at 3-over for the tournament, two shots behind the victor, Brooks Koepka, also his close friend and playing partner Sunday.

Brooks is now a multiple major victor... what are you expecting from him over the next 5-10 years?

"I felt the speeds were a little inconsistent", he said.

After the Masters, Koepka told Elliott that his wrist was feeling better and that he was going to start hitting balls.

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