Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
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Brooks Koepka wins the US Open golf title

Brooks Koepka wins the US Open golf title

Brooks Koepka warned everybody. A highly unscientific Twitter poll I did early last week showed 73 percent want to see a U.S. Open winning score 3-5 under, 21 percent want even par or higher to win and only 6 percent want a PGA Tour-like birdie fest. But there are so many positives to look at and so much that you can take from it and learn.

Fleetwood, who finished in a tie for fourth at Erin Hills, came rushing home with a 63. Koepka withstood it all to become the first repeat victor in almost 30 years.

Still, both players impressed with their play. There was that chronic ruffling wind. Course: Shinnecock Hills GC. Yardage: 7,445.

Davis promised to slow down the course for Sunday's final round. He entered the final day in a four-way tie at 3 over and was still only one stroke behind Koepka when they made the turn.

Few tournaments take a toll quite like the U.S. Open, but while Koepka took a few hits, he never stayed down for long. I actually really enjoy it.

"I always feel like I'm overlooked". You're a year removed on a different golf course. He is as complete a talent as there is. That hasn't happened since Curtis Strange won at Brookline in 1988 and Oak Hill in 1989.

Before earning his PGA Tour card, Koepka won the Turkish Airlines Open against a strong European Tour field that included Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace and Ian Poulter.

His victory Sunday might not have been possible if not for grinding out a 72 on Saturday in conditions so severe the last 45 players to tee off in the third round didn't break par. Many refer to it as a "Mickey Mouse" setup, and by all accounts on the USGA's side of things, it was, but Shinnecock's Jon Jennings and his crew had not lost their golf course.

"You know, my rib kind of came out last week", Koepka said.

"I'm happy for him". It set up a fairer course on Sunday. The result was a sudden rash of scoring and charges from multiple players.

"Tony and Daniel kept telling him this was his previous year to break the record", Summerhays said with a smile befitting a proud dad on Father's Day.


Fleetwood, a 27-year-old with lambent blue eyes and the locks and touch of a musician, ran in putts from all over the softened greens. His wedge settled eight feet from the hole. Calling the shots, I obviously can't hear what he's saying. As it was, he settled for joining Johnny Miller as the only men to shoot a 63 in the final round of an Open. More importantly, that missed edge was the eventual difference between a playoff and a loss. Spieth and Rickie Fowler (?) at the Open Championship.

The uncomplicated Koepka, playing the final round with his close friend Dustin Johnson, never looked fussed or bothered, which is his way.

Golf is not meant to be fair but Finau and Berger, through no fault of their own, were provided with such an advantage that had either won, the victory might well have left a sour taste.

But this win also continues a string of recent American dominance in major championships.

Reed fired five birdies in his first seven holes but cooled off coming in for a two-under 68.

Only at the hard 18th did he falter, where he missed the green with his approach. The circus of going from a 16-under victor at Erin Hills to a one-over victor at Shinnecock Hills the next year makes the tournament a complete toss-up annually, which thoroughly entertains me.

Then Johnson missed a 4-foot par putt on No. 11. It was a critical bogey that limited damage. We were by the pool and the casino just hanging out, no worries about that at all. There should have been a effect for that more severe than two strokes. But each of them gradually fell away in the face of Koepka's consistency.

But that momentum collapsed as quickly as it had been built, with four bogeys - on Nos.

Justin Rose, who putted brilliantly in the worst of the conditions to sit one shot off the lead, described himself as "shell-shocked". Finau bogeyed the 12th. Fleetwood, watching on television and hoping for a playoff, only could admire the work.

But when Koepka knocked his approach shot snug on 16 to push the lead to even par with two holes to play, there was no question that he was going clear every hurdle Shinnecock Hills provided this week.

Still, he would have liked to have that last putt, which just slid by the hole. He kept it together.

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