Koepka In Control Sunday At US Open
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 19, 2017,
Jun 19, 2017, 5:49
American Brooks Koepka held firm against buffeting winds and crushing pressure to claim a sensational four-shot victory at the U.S. Open on Sunday and become the latest in a growing line of first time major winners.
That has been a source of considerable discussion all week, as Erin Hills yielded a record number of sub-par scores, a major record-tying 63 and double the number of players reaching double-digits under par than in all the previous U.S. Opens combined.
Koepka, who finished at 16-under 272, became the seventh straight first-time victor of a major championship, and it was the first time since 1998-2000 that Americans won their national championship three straight years. If I keep playing well enough, I'll be in the PGA.
After days of being humbled, Erin Hills turned nasty for the final round as heavy winds pummeled the links-style layout, adding an intriguing wrinkle to the year's second major.
Crawford will play pretty much a national schedule this summer, including the North-South Amateur, the Porter Cup, the Western Amateur, and the U.S. Amateur. He duly missed to drop back to 13 under. Fleetwood finished fourth at 11-under.
The gusts tapered off from the morning, but they still were making Erin Hills play more hard than it had all week.
Koepka's win extended a remarkable run of victories by players who had never previously won a major. Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood were one shot back.
Harman and Koepka spent much of the round locked at the top of the leaderboard. Koepka rolled in 6-, 10- and 17-footers for birdies on 14, 15 and 16 to seal this one.
The resulting birdie reduced his deficit to playing partner Koepka to four shots, Koepka having followed birdies on the first and second with another from 35 feet on the eighth.
Koepka was the first to strike, making a birdie on the first to go to 12 under and take a share of the lead.
"Today is more like a British Open but they were soft conditions", the Big Easy said. When he pushed a 30-foot birdie try on No. 12 a full 12 feet past the hole, he set himself up for bogey. It featured a silhouette of Palmer in mid-stride, tossing his visor in the air.
"If it was like this [windy] all week, two-under would be leading", said Els following his final round 74 to finish at seven-over for the tournament.
Brian Harman is the leader at Erin Hills.
Jordan Spieth has described Erin Hills as an "awesome golf course" after finishing his US Open campaign with a three-under 69.
Koepka's three-putt bogey on the 10th gave the chasing pack renewed hope, but Fleetwood was unable to convert birdie chances from six feet on the 11th or twice the distance on the next.
Brian Harman has a one-shot advantage at 12 under atop a crowded leaderboard.
"I would think they want to change a few things, " he said.
"I think it's exciting, said Spieth".
Cameron Champ, the only other amateur to make the cut, shot a 76 to finish at even par.
Justin Thomas, coming off a 9-under 63 that matched the major championship scoring record and was the first 9-under round at a U.S. Open, went out in 39 and closed with a 75 to tie for ninth.
Players are on the course for the final round of the U.S. Open in blustery conditions at Erin Hills. The first couple of holes made a couple of bogeys and felt I rushed.
Matsuyama's 66 was the best score on a windy final day, one better than Koepka.