Brooks Koepka acknowledges the gallery after draining a putt on the way to victory in the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday. It was the first U.S. Open since 2013 where no golfer broke par.
Brooks Koepka has become the first player in three decades to win successive US Open titles as the American posted a one-shot victory at Shinnecock Hills in NY.
"There's no-one more confident than me", Koepka said.
The pressure the third time is even more extreme, said the only person alive who would know. This is the first major championship where I was really in contention.
Koepka won with birdies on spacious Erin Hills previous year.
That allowed the 28-year-old the luxury of a bogey on the 18th and he eventually signed for a 68 to finish one over par and just a shot ahead of Fleetwood, with world number one Dustin Johnson a stroke further back. I always felt like I had a chance.
"I don't, to be honest with you". "When I knew I wasn't going to be at Augusta, probably about a week before, I really did miss it".
After bursting on the scene past year with an emphatic 16-under final score at Erin Hills, he won on a Shinnecock Hills Golf Course that many described as "pure carnage" throughout the weekend. The USGA conceded the course was over the top and pledged to add water to slow it down. He made eight birdies - none on the two par-5s - and missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 63, only the sixth player in US Open history to go that low.
Finau, a victor at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, said he wouldn't be trying to change his aggressive style despite some costly errors. Koepka ended the toughest tournament in golf at 1-over.
"He's proven he can win on a classic" course, unusual said.
Fleetwood began the final day six shots off the lead and finished his round more than two and a half hours before the victor, although the lengthy wait was made more bearable in the company of his baby son Frankie and wife Clare. And at the par-3 11th, he could have easily lost control of the steering wheel.
Koepka pulled it to the left, down the slope, and into thick grass. Johnson shot 70 and finished two shots behind.
"I had a chance", Reed said. I don't think it crossed the line, but it was as hard of golf as we can play. He was lights out on the greens, burying tough putts from 5-10 feet when his playing partner couldn't buy a birdie putt.
Masters champion Patrick Reed also is on a charge, making birdies on four of his first five holes to get within one shot of Koepka.
"Of course it's disappointing, but at the same time - you know, I mean, finish second, tied for second at (the PGA Championship) previous year, won Augusta, then I think I'll finish in the top five here", Reed said. Unusual was two strokes off the lead heading into the final round in 1990 and finished 21st; he also finished tied for fourth in 1987.
"It's special to shoot a 63 at the US Open". "He kept it together, and he's a world player". I just happened to play a little bit better that week. "It wasn't great for me, but it was great as a golfer to watch how he did it".
In all, Johnson took 14 more putts over the weekend than Koepka, who leads him with two major victories to one. He shot a 72 in almost unplayable conditions on Saturday when Johnson stumbled to a 77 to climb back into the mix and was steady and often spectacular over the final 18 holes.
A year ago, Johnson called him on the eve of the final round to offer advice. On Sunday, they were playing side-by-side without exchanging words, each trying to play a course that was much softer than Saturday. "He was busy grinding his tail off and I was busy grinding mine". We're extremely close. I love the guy to death.
So, in the end, Shinnecock prevailed again, pretty much fairly this time - though visions of 2004's asphalt-like greens danced in some players' heads on Saturday.
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