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Brooks Koepka wins back-to-back U.S. Open titles

Golfweek logo Golfweek 6/17/2018 Kevin Casey

Video by Fox Sports

Here is a recap of Sunday's final round at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.:

WINNER: Brooks Koepka is your back-to-back U.S. Open champion.

We haven't had one of those since Curtis Strange won in 1988 and '89, but the nearly 30-year drought in that department is over.

Koepka, 28, was unflappable Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, birdieing three of his first five holes and seemingly cruising in a closing 2-under 68. That gave Koepka a 1-over 281 and a one-shot victory.

He began the day tied for the lead at 3 over with Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau and Daniel Berger but quickly moved out in front by two with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. That birdie at the fifth moved him to Even par and kept him two ahead.

He would bogey the sixth to fall into a tie for the lead with Patrick Reed, but Reed would bogey No. 9 and Koepka would birdie the 10th to push his lead back to two.

The remainder of his round, his greatest competitor arose from the clubhouse.

Tommy Fleetwood fired a 7-under 63 early to get in at 2 over and threaten to come from six shots back. Koepka put himself in a spot of bother by going over the green at the par-3 11th, and he needed a 13-footer jut to save bogey and stay in the solo lead at 1 over.

He drained it.

Koepka would then make a 6-footer at No. 12 and a 9-footer at No. 14 for pars to remain ahead. He stuffed a wedge to 4 feet at the par-5 16th and then drained the putt for birdie to take a two-shot lead with two to play.

He made things interesting when he hooked his second shot well left of the green at the par-4 18th, but he made a simply bogey from there. Finau, at 3 over, needed to hole out for eagle at the last to force a playoff.

He hit his tee shot and fescue and hacked out from there into the fairway. At that point, Koepka had officially won.

Koepka is obviously a great young talent but had struggled since his U.S. Open title at Erin Hills, with injuries besetting him. He took a 15-week hiatus earlier this year due to a left wrist issue.

Since his return in May, he's come on strong with a win, a runner-up and a T-11 in three of his six starts.

Now he's a back-to-back U.S. Open champion.

JUST MISSED: Fleetwood put up a valiant effort with that 63. More on that here.

SHORT SHOTS: Patrick Reed birdies five of his first seven holes Sunday to move from three back to a share of the lead. But he fades from there and finishes solo fifth at 4 over after a 68. … Rickie Fowler follows a third-round 84 with a closing 65 to rocket to a tie for 20th at 11 over. … Dylan Meyer closes in 74 to finish at 11 over. The former Illini star ties for 20th in his pro debut. … Justin Thomas finishes in a tie for 25th at 12 over. … Phil Mickelson rebounded nicely from his dramatic Saturday. He closes in 1-under 69, including a humorous moment at No. 13, to finish T-48 at 16 over. It's a nice 77-69-81-69 for Mickelson this week.



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