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

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

Koepka (above) had played just five events before this week after missing several months of the season with a wrist injury and had to recover from being seven over par in the early stages of his second round.

Curtis Strange stood by the 18th green at Shinnecock Hills, working for the TV broadcast and ready to welcome Brooks Koepka into the small fraternity of back-to-back U.S. Open winners.

Then Koepka parred 17 and had the luxury of making bogey at 18.

Brooks Koepka won the U.S. Open for the second year in a row.

Fleetwood had stormed into the clubhouse with a round that included eight birdies, putting the pressure on overnight leaders Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger and Tony Finau. Finau finished in fifth and four players ended in a tie for sixth.

"The US Open just takes so much discipline".

"After this finish the next really big one people will look at is The Open and I have put my name in the frame again. That's pretty good. I've got some catching up to do". He's physically gifted. In my mind, he's probably one of the most talented guys ever to play the game. Despite the scoring average improving by nearly three strokes on Friday, Johnson was the only player under par at the end of the day.

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Brooks Koepka has backed Tommy Fleetwood to follow in his footsteps as a major champion after denying the Englishman a maiden victory at Shinnecock Hills. Johnny Miller famously posted that score 45 years ago at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club to complete a six-stroke rally for the title. The top eight players on the USA point list are now locked in and Furyk and his vice captains - Love, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods - can begin the artful process of creating a list of possible picks based on a wide variety of criteria. "I'd have felt I had a bit more of a chance".

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"On Saturday the course should not have been as it was, but you can't let that affect you, if you start complaining, you start looking for excuses and I don't like to make excuses", he explained at the press conference after the tournament.

The result was a winning score over par for the first time in five years - but one in the range the USGA likes in the national Open.

Koepka never lost the lead. Facing a 12-foot putt just to save bogey, Koepka wasn't rattled and calmly holed it. He made a 6-footer for par on No. 12, and after hacking out of deep rough on the par-4 14th hole, he got up and down from 62 yards out, holing an 8½-footer for par to maintain his one-stroke edge.

He birdied the 72nd for an even par 70 that left him alone in third on 283. He made a handful of blood-and-guts par saves, but the pivotal save of the tournament came on the par-3 11th when Koepka flew the green and came back to sink a long putt for bogey. I enjoy that. That's fun. I enjoy the test. "Sometimes you feel like you are about to break mentally, but that is what I enjoy". Following a 2-over 72 on Saturday on a day where many golfers struggled, he sat in a four-way tie for the lead entering Sunday's final round.

"Shinnecock plays incredibly tough, and you knew that going in even par was going to be a really good score", he said.

Reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Matt Parziale and Louisiana State University rising senior Luis Gagne shared low-amateur honors at 16-over 296.

On Monday's "Off the Bench" podcast, Raja Bell and Danny Kanell talked U.S. Open, and gave their opinion on the course taking over the weekend. This was also the first year of the USGA's new exemption for the previous year's victor of the U.S. Mid-Amateur. "Because it could have been a big momentum shift there, and we could have been playing tennis just going back and forth".

The old saying about the U.S. Open is that you do not win it; instead, it wins you.

"Nobody wrote about it", unusual said about his title defense going into Oak Hill.

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