Koepka eyes up a Pebble Treble after US Open defence

Dustin Johnson pumps his fist after making a 45-foot birdie putt on the 7th hole Friday

Dustin Johnson pumps his fist after making a 45-foot birdie putt on the 7th hole Friday. Getty Images

The first year two years Davis was in charge, the winning score at Winged Foot and Oakmont was 5-over par, and no one complained.

Shinnecock Hills is one of the toughest challenges in golf. After a doctor remedied the problem, he set his sights on defending the trophy claimed at Erin Hills 12 months earlier.

The reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion shared co-medalist honors with Luis Gagne, a college golfer who is from Costa Rica and plays at LSU. All of these players were hunting their first major, but it was Koepka who held his nerve the best, carding an incredible five under par final round in blustery conditions, to win by four shots.

Finally, we have Finau. While they properly saturated the course and made the greens much more receptive, the pin placements on Sunday left something to be desired and seemed more like practice round placements than final round of the U.S. Open placements. This shall pass, but it was a freaky set of circumstances that saw Mickelson shoot his highest score, 81, in a U.S. Open since 1992. He advanced it as far as he could, hacking it out 98 yards. His wedge settled eight feet from the hole.

A six-foot birdie at the 10 gave him a two-stroke lead.

Tommy Fleetwood was surprised when he shot 66 in Friday's second round. On a Long Island Sunday when Fleetwood joined the elite group who have shot 63 in the US Open, the Englishman's bid for a maiden major title came up agonisingly short. Since 2005, even par or higher has won seven times, while under par has won seven times, including double digits under par twice (2017 and 2011, when Rory McIlroy also went 16 under at soggy Congressional).

"Once we started beating (Bob), it was me and Chase going at it", Koepka said. "I don't think I could have dreamed of this, going back to back". Phil Mickelson had a Saturday to disremember as well, and four of the game's top-10 players didn't make it to the weekend.

No, my crime was just to curse when Brooks Koepka got himself out of trouble on the 11th, escaping with a bogey when he could quite easily have gone two, three or more over.

"I didn't miss it until I knew I wasn't going to be at Augusta", he said.

Koepka became the first man to turn that impressive trick in almost three decades by handling a Shinnecock Hills course that varied from beastly to benign. The murmurs started: Maybe Reed could follow his Masters win with a triumph at the U.S. Open.

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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.

Only Scotland's Willie Anderson has ever won the
US Open three years in succession (1903-1905), a feat Koepka will try to emulate at Pebble Beach next year.

But that momentum collapsed as quickly as it had been built, with four bogeys - on Nos.

The 27-year-old arrived at the par-four 18th with a chance to establish the all-time scoring record and, from the fairway, he cut a attractive six-iron that settled to eight feet.

The U.S. Open was the fifth time that Johnson had at least a share of the 54-hole lead. Justin Thomas and Tony Finau or Daniel Berger or someone else at the PGA Championship. Even a bogey would have meant an extra $47,000 in Finau's account. 2, 3 and 4.

Tommy Fleetwood of England misses a putt for birdie on the 18th green during the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y.

"As the day went on it continued to get more tough", said two-times PGA Tour victor Berger, who noticed the course starting to become more hard on about the 12th hole. He chopped that up the slope with so much speed that it raced across the green and into the bunker.

Only one of them did, which is why Koepka is the US Open champion.

Our translation: We messed up Saturday. He went on to explain "We're not on the edge". He's [6.4] favourite in the early market of a tournament without too many other star names, and it will be interesting to see how well he focuses after coming down from his NY cloud.

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