Giovedi, 23 Novembre, 2017

US Open : No regrets as magic Matsuyama falls short

Brooks Koepka2 Brooks Koepka wins 2017 US Open, tying lowest scoring record
Pammachio Corsino | 21 Giugno, 2017, 09:41

They set up Erin Hills to allow a player to win; in this case, Brooks Koepka.

Koepka landed the first blow on the par-four eighth, draining a magnificent 33ft putt to move one clear at 14 under. But his resume will be looking a whole lot better than this year.

All the numbers were red. Remember the Winged Foot golf course in NY, when Geoff Ogilvy won in 2006 with a +5?

However, here he distinguished himself with a gritty performance as he finished fourth on 11 under, five adrift of Brooks Koepka, who claimed his maiden Major with a record-equalling US Open score.

After being within striking distance of the leaders earlier in the tournament, Saturday's round - a three-over par 75 - knocked him back into the back, and Sunday, the trend continued with an eight-over 80.

Before last week, only two players in U.S. Open history had ever finished at double digits under par. "Everyone talks about Tiger Woods but my hero was Sergio", said Pepperell. He ended tied with that record, with Rory McIlroy at -16.

Is that bad? Not necessarily.

Normally 5 under par would be good enough to win, or at least contend for, the U.S. Open title.

This didn't look like one, either.

The buddies who shared a house near Erin Hills also shared the misery during a wind-swept final round in which they never got themselves into the mix.

When championship week began at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, the course, with the fescue, thick rough and rugged bunkers had the golf world buzzing.

This makes two on the PGA Tour, and it was a big one. "I felt like I've underachieved", he said.

I've been trying to win so badly.

It takes a lot to get Koepka excited, and while a U.S. Open certainly does the trick, it was hard to tell. "They're changing it every year". The strongest gusts were Sunday morning and it tapered to a strong breeze by the afternoon.


Great shot-making indeed, but making eagle from 30 yards off the fairway was a shot not possible in any previous U.S. Open.

Not that the USGA would complain about that this year. The wind was blowing and the Greens were fast.

No one wants that, either.

Once the dust settled on the first 32 holes, it was obvious that this was going to be no ordinary U.S. Open.

Koepka, South Korea's Kim Si-woo, Japan's Hideki Matusyama, Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and Americans Brian Harman and Rickie Fowler were the names battling for major glory on Sunday, rather than the likes of Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink and Ernie Els. And I felt confident all week. "Exhausted of traveling. I just wanted to be home", he said.

And that's what Koepka did.

Spieth was vague regarding his plans in advance of the Open Championship, raising the possibility he might spend some of his competitive build-up time in Ireland or Scotland.

It was an experience that taught him as much about life as it did about the sport, and the young American went as far afield as Kenya and Kazakhstan as he cut his teeth and honed his game.

Is it worth coming back?

Wisconsin golf fans love home-state favorite Steve Stricker.

In addition to the fine play by former Tiders in the U.S. Open, current Alabama golfer Jonathan Hardee and former standout Robby Shelton each won a tournament.

That was lost this year.

Mickelson had the last laugh by going on to lift the Claret Jug after Koepka had missed the cut, but Koepka was on an upward trajectory, finishing fourth in the 2014 US Open and then winning the Turkish Airlines Open on his way to being named European Tour rookie of the year.

But if it doesn't come back to Erin Hills, what will that say about it?

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