One year after winning his first major, American golfer Brooks Koepka became just the seventh player ever and third since World War II to win back-to-back U.S. Opens with a final-round 68 to finish 1 over par Sunday at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.
Curtis Strange was the last player to repeat as the U.S. Open champion in 1988-89 and before him it was Ben Hogan in 1950-51. This week marked the 118th edition of the U.S. Open.
Koepka came into Sunday sharing the lead with Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau and Daniel Berger with a 3-over 213 and was the only one of the four who was under par in the final round. Koepka had to work a tough course, although conditions weren’t as difficult as they were on the previous days, but prevailed after heading to the 18th hole leading England’s Tommy Fleetwood by two strokes.
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Fleetwood, who finished two and a half hours before Koepka, became just the sixth player ever to shoot a 63 at the U.S. Open. He missed an 8-foot putt for birdie on the 18th hole that would have made him the first player to shoot a 62 at the U.S. Open and the second player to shoot 62 at a major. He finished second at two over, followed by Americans Johnson (3 over), Olympian Patrick Reed (4 over) and Finau (5 over). Reed won the Masters in April.
Koepka won at Erin Hills in Wisconsin last year, shooting 16 under par and a final round 67. He credited his experience helping the U.S. to win the Ryder Cup in late 2016 with his ability to play under pressure and win his first major. He came into the weekend ranked fifth in the Ryder Cup standings.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.