Brooks Koepka wins the US Open golf title

Ruben Hill
June 19, 2018

"Going to the gym with him, you see how hard he works", said Koepka.

"I don't think I could have dreamed of this, going back-to-back", Koepka said when interviewed by unusual on the 18th green. But that's just what he did, rallying with four more birdies on the back nine to become just the sixth player to shoot 63 in U.S. Open history. And he was behind Koepka's caddie, Ricky Elliott.

It wasn't as easy as Fleetwood made it look, mind, as he underlined why he is considered by his peers among the best ball strikers in the modern game.

"Hell of a job, bud", odd barked in his ear, above the din.

That Koepka prevailed on two wildly different layouts, and in totally different conditions, was even more satisfying. Just as Erin Hills was previous year, the course seemed ideal for Koepka, whether it was playable or not. "I enjoy playing about the toughest in golf you are ever going to play". Koepka bashed his way to a record-tying score (16 under par) and over the past year has never felt fully appreciated, in large part because of the weirdness of the USGA setup.

So was last week at Shinnecock Hills - where Kopeka, the champion, reinforced his elite credentials and Fleetwood showed he is not that far behind. The premium on iron play.

After overpowering the wide-open Erin Hills, he kept his nerve through four brutal days at Shinnecock.

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are the only players in their 20s to have won multiple majors, at least for now. "It was great as a golfer to watch how he did it and how he closed out". The only players he heard from during his hiatus: Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson.

During the spring, Elliott would occasionally drive from Orlando to Jupiter, Fla., to check on his boss. Rahm and Day seemed out of sorts from the beginning. I mean, I couldn't be happier. Not only is that useful for the Englishman's state of mind, it is perfectly correct in respect of a US Open where he produced a history-matching round to move within a whisker of glory.

"He was hitting it right on the button", Elliott said. "He's just a tremendously talented guy".

I know I should have applauded a great escape shot, but it was then I realised Tommy Fleetwood probably wasn't going to be the US Open Champion. "To make bogey there was pretty incredible and I think kind of the reason why we won".

Given all of this, look for Fleetwood to win the U.S. Open as Koepka, Johnson and Reed fall just short.

And for now, majors define Koepka.

Koepka plays quickly and does not overthink.

Not that Koepka is complaining. He ranks first in shots gained tee-to-green, with 1.809 per round. I shot the lowest round of the day on Friday and Thursday I really stuck in all the way round. There were times when I came home pouting, and Chase did, too, getting beat by him.

Johnson has numerous same physical and mental attributes, and they've each benefited from the other's intense focus and discipline. "There's only one more thing I can do, and that is to win a major".

"But that's the way it's supposed to be", he said. The area around the greens is closely mowed and forces the world's best to place their approach shots in small landing areas on the greens lest they run off into collection areas. On Sunday, they were playing side-by-side without exchanging words, each trying to play a course that was much softer than Saturday.

As Fleetwood settled in to watch the rest of the round on television, Koepka birdied the 10th hole to take a two-shot lead at even par. Meanwhile Koepka saved pars from the fescue at the 12th and again at the 14th, lashing away long skeins of grass with his clubface. 11, 12 and 14. Still, he completed his 72 holes with a two-over 282, making him the clubhouse leader.

Dustin Johnson led the U.S. Open after every day but the one that counts.

"Heck no!" he said. For now, they take up a lot of space on the mantle.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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