Brooks Koepka became the first U.S. Open champion in 29 years to successfully defend his title, when he clinched a one-stroke victory on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.
Shooting a Sunday 68, to finish on one over-par and become the first player to win back-to-back US Opens since Curtis Stange in 1988 and 1989, it was a special day for Brooks.
Paired with his great friend and fellow Hambric Sports player, Dustin Johnson, it was always going to be an enjoyable and competitive final round for both.
Heading into the final round, both Koepka and Johnson shared the lead on three over-par, along with Daniel Berger and Tony Finau.
None of the above were able to put pressure on Brooks throughout his final round though, that pressure came from Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who shot a closing round 63 to sit in the clubhouse on two over-par.
When Fleetwood finished, Koepka was on his eighth hole and just one shot ahead. He played his final ten holes in level par and had some fantastic par saves throughout.
On the par 3 eleventh, Brooks pulled it to the left into the thick grass. He hit his second which raced over the back of the green and into the bunker. Blasting this out to eight feet, he calmly made the putt for bogey and minimised the damage.
“I think that was like making a birdie, maybe even making an eagle,” Koepka said. “Because it could have been a big momentum shift. To make bogey there was pretty incredible and I think kind of the reason why we won.”
On the following hole, the par 4 twelfth, having gone over the back of the green and into the hay, Brooks hit a superb pitch shot to seven feet and made the par putt.
A birdie on the par 5 sixteenth came from a beautiful wedge shot to 3 feet, which gave him a two-shot lead with two holes to play and a little bit of breathing room.
On his final hole, Brooks tugged his approach shot slightly left and hit a fantastic pitch shot to twelve feet, allowing him to two-putt for bogey and claim his second major championship.
“I probably couldn’t have dreamed of it in my wildest dreams,” he said. “It’s really incredible, I couldn’t be happier.”
Missing the first three months of the 2018 season due to a partially-torn tendon in his left wrist, Brooks made up for lost time, making four cuts in five starts, including a runner-up finish at the Fort Worth Invitational.
With this win, Brooks will jump up to fourth in the World Rankings and thirteenth in the FedEx Cup Standings.
Well done Brooks on a tremendous display of golf and resilience, in what was a tough start to your 2018 season. You are a true champion and we couldn’t be happier that you are now a two-time major winner!
Photo credit: Golffile – single use only
Dustin Johnson finished his week at Shinnecock Hills in solo third position on three over-par, after shooting rounds of 69, 67, 77 and 70. Well done on another fantastic week Dustin and no doubt another major victory is just around the corner for you.