83°F
weather icon Clear

Brooks Koepka repeats as US Open champion

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Brooks Koepka has the game to win a U.S. Open on any course.

One year after Koepka overpowered the wide fairways of Erin Hills in a U.S. Open remembered for low scoring, he navigated his way through the brutal conditions of Shinnecock Hills and closed with a 2-under 68 to become the first repeat champion in 29 years.

Curtis Strange, the last player to go back-to-back in this major, watched the entire final round Sunday as the Fox Sports reporter on the ground, and they shared a brief hug off the 18th green after Koepka tapped in for bogey and a one-shot victory.

He captured his second major on Sunday. It would not have been possible without his 72 on Saturday in conditions so severe the last 45 players to tee off in the third round didn’t break par. The USGA conceded the course was over the top and pledged to get it right for the final round.

No one took advantage like Tommy Fleetwood, who made eight birdies — none of the two par 5s — and became the sixth player to shoot 63 in the U.S. Open. That got him within one shot of Koepka, who still had 11 holes to play.

But he never caught him and had to settle for the silver medal.

Koepka, with a performance and a demeanor reminiscent of Retief Goosen winning at Shinnecock Hills in 2004, began the back nine with three pivotal putts — one for birdie, one for bogey, one for par.

He seized control with a wedge to 3½ feet for birdie on the par-5 16th for a two-shot lead, and he never flinched until it no longer mattered. Koepka pulled his approach to the 18th off the grandstand, pitched on to about 12 feet and two-putted for a bogey.

He finished at 1-over 281, 13 shots higher than his winning score at Erin Hills last year. It was the first time since 2013 at Merion that no one broke par in the U.S. Open.

Dustin Johnson, part of the four-way tie for the lead to start the final round, couldn’t keep up with one of his best friends. Johnson was one shot behind at the turn until three-putting three times on the back nine. A birdie on the final hole gave him an even-par 70 to finish alone in third.

Masters champion Patrick Reed, who briefly shared the lead with five birdies through seven holes, stumbled on the back and had to settle for a 68 to finish fourth.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Phil Mickelson honored for 25 years in top 50

One of the hallmarks of Mickelson’s career is playing for so long at a consistently high level, and the Official World Golf Ranking board honored him for a feat that might be as remarkable as his 47 wins worldwide or his five majors.

Golfer Collin Morikawa making move to Las Vegas

A local PGA of America golf professional has confirmed that former Cal-Berkeley all-American golfer and current PGA Tour player Collin Morikawa, 22, is making the move to Las Vegas.

Wisdom of former UNLV coach spurs Kitayama at British Open

Former UNLV golfer Kurt Kitayama and former player and coach J.C Deacon have always shared a bond away from golf, but now an on-the-course partnership is producing stellar results on the European Tour.

Wynn Las Vegas golf course expected to open in October

The 18-hole course, which sits near Wynn Las Vegas, was designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio with help from his son, Logan. According to a statement from the company, it is the only course connected to a resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

New Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame class revealed

The Night of Induction is Saturday, Sept. 28 at The Hill at TPC Summerlin, preceded by a golf tournament Sept. 27 at Spanish Trail.

Bragging rights on line during Shriners Clash of the Clubs

The event is the official Monday pro-am for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and features four-player amateur teams from golf clubs who are paired with a PGA Tour professional.

Sung Hyun Park birdies 18th for LPGA Tour victory in Arkansas

Sung Hyun Park two-putted for birdie on the par-5 18th to win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday for her second LPGA Tour victory of the season and seventh overall.