Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

With second US Open title, Koepka can't be overlooked now

With second US Open title, Koepka can't be overlooked now

They got some of the holes wrong and I understand the criticism from the players after Saturday.

The 28-year-old Floridian triumphed by one shot on a absorbing afternoon to back up his breakthrough major victory at Erin Hills 12 months ago.

Fleetwood must console himself with a cheque for $1.2m and a share of history.

They are among five players on one-under for the tournament, along with Poutler, Sweden's Henrik Stenson and England's Justin Rose, the 2013 champion.

Like pretty much all the pro golfers who've battled the elements, along with the USGA itself this weekend at Shinnecock Hills, Sergio Garcia is not happy with the way the course has been set up for the U.S. Open. He did not know it but a play-off was also on the line.

He has now finished fourth and second in the last two U.S. Open's.

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The world No.9 was one of four Americans - along with Daniel Berger, Tony Finau and Dustin Johnson - who started Sunday's round tied for the lead.

Fleetwood, playing more than two hours ahead of the overnight leaders and starting the day six shots off the pace, had threatened to steal a stunning victory after reeling off four consecutive birdies from the 12th hole.

After admitting they went "too far" with their course set-up for round three, USGA officials had applied "appropriate levels" of water to the greens at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday night and Sunday morning, as well as selecting some more favourable pin positions.

But just as it seemed he had grabbed the championship by the throat he misjudged his tee shot at the par-three 11th and watched his ball rocket over the crowned green and hurtle way beyond into rough.

The uncomplicated Koepka, playing the final round with his close friend Dustin Johnson, never looked fussed or bothered, which is his way.

That 62 would have moved him to one-over for the tournament, and into a tie with Koepka who hooked his shot into the 18th green into the grandstand and settled for a bogey and one-over finish. "I feel for the spectators because they are seeing pure carnage".

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"This is the first time I got a taste of the final group, and coming down the stretch, having a chance to try and catch Brooks, it was a lot of fun for me".

"I feel my game is made for championship golf", said the extremely long-hitting Finau, who believes he is developing a complete, all-round game. Then perfectly competent iron shots started rolling off greens, and barely-struck putts ran for days, and golfers wanted to snap their putters with their teeth.

A hot putter kept him in front as he made clutch pars at the next three holes. Berger and Finau were 11 behind Johnson at halfway.

There's no doubt now, however, that Koepka is back, and he has proved his major mettle on the toughest test the US Open can offer. There definitely will be one more major at least.

Southampton, N.Y.... For only the third time in the post-World War II era - and seventh time in 118 stagings - the U.S. Open has a repeat champion.

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