Mercoledì, 12 Dicembre, 2018

Long road: Koepka's journey now includes a US Open title

Pammachio Corsino | 20 Giugno, 2017, 00:57

Stricker was rolling down the back end of the back nine, with three birdies between the 14th and 17th holes.

Fortunately for Koepka, he chose to play the final round and went on to win by three shots, before attempting to drive through the night to contest final qualifying for the Open Championship.

Tied for the lead with six holes left, Koepka made an 8-foot par putt on 13 that gave him confidence in his putting stroke.

"I think it's a great thing". Aoki finished second to the legendary Jack Nicklaus at the 1980 U.S. Open.

Brian Harman hung in there for 13 holes before being run over by the Koepka freight train.

He called Blake Smith, his manager at Hambric Sports, and told him, "I don't even want to play".

Having spent a good part of his golfing apprenticeship travelling the globe sleeping in cars and working his way up through the European Challenge Tour, Koepka now steps into the U.S. sporting spotlight.

A year on we were playing late on a Sunday in a major, so that's a nice way to cap it off.

"But I'll take exactly where I'm at".

The 21-year-old Li had closed strongly in the second round to post a two-under 70 at Erin Hills and become China's first player to make the cut at a U.S. Open.


"I've never contended for a Major before, so when you get to Saturday and Sunday you've got to see how you react and how you feel", said the Englishman, who followed up his third-round 68 with a 72. He shot even-par 72 and finished at 10-under for tournament, six back of Koepka. "There's something about majors where I just focus in a lot more", he said, and the record does show this: 15 majors so far, five top-10 finishes, four top-five finishes and a major, the seventh consecutive golf major to go to a first-time victor in this populous era.

His confidence in the final round came, in part, from a short conversation the night before with Dustin Johnson, a friend who had been through his share of close calls and heartbreaks before finally becoming a major champion at the U.S. Open previous year. He came and kicked everyone's [behind] over there, didn't he? But he's proven for a long time how good he is.

Brooks Koepka poses with the trophy with the leaderboard in the background at Erin Hills.

In the eternally odd physics of golf, he thought he had been trying too hard to win, so he won by not trying so hard to win.

World number nine Rickie Fowler, runner-up in the US Open in 2014, is two off the lead on 10 under.

When he started out Sunday, one shot out of the lead and among 12 players within five shots, he did little more than walk to the cup after three birdies on the front nine.

67 Final-round score for Koepka, lowest by a tournament champion since Tiger Woods in 2000 at Pebble Beach.

The week ended with 31 players under par, breaking the record of 28 at Medinah in 1990.

While Fowler still has ground to make up, he was pleased with a strong finish that saw him pick up strokes with three birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th.

The American's success came a year on from Dustin Johnson winning his maiden major at Oakmont.

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