Twice. That was it. A year on we were playing late on a Sunday in a major, so that’s a nice way to cap it off.
” 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 Fleetwood, who bounced back from three bogeys in six holes on the front nine to birdie the ninth and 14th. In dedicating the victory to his dad, Bob, on Father’s Day appropriately, Koepka said: “This will make up for the card that I didn’t get him”.
Koepka shot a 67 on his winning round. He balanced three birdie and three bogeys through his round. He should be, overpowering a golf course like he can.
The result meant he tied Rory McIlroy’s 16-under in 2011 for lowest score to par in U.S. Open history. On the same holes in the same conditions with the same stakes and rewards on the line, no one finished within three strokes of Koepka, who won his second PGA tournament on Sunday by sailing through the back nine.
Brian Harman hung in there for 13 holes before being run over by the Koepka freight train. He’d only won one previous tournament on the PGA Tour.
And yet, the runner-up finish was his fourth top-five finish in his past five starts, including a victory at the Wells Fargo Championship.
A changing of golf’s old guard has been underway for some time but the 117th US Open signaled that it can be considered complete with neither Phil Mickelson and/or Tiger Woods teeing up at major for the first time since the 1994 US Masters.
For all of Koepka’s magnificence on the golf course this weekend, its tough to believe that golf isn’t even his favorite sport. Now he truly belongs.
With his laid-back demeanor and long-hitting dexterity, Koepka has much in common with last year’s champion, Dustin Johnson, who missed the cut at Erin Hills.
Apparently, there will be no soul-searching phone calls from Koepka to Smith.
“If I could do it over again, I’d play baseball-100 percent, no doubt”, Koepka said. I just tried to stay away from it. He was tied with Harman. He made the putt. And I felt confident all week. But a brilliant sand shot put the ball to about four feet for birdie. “Anywhere over there was fine”.
Matsuyama watched the finish on television in the clubhouse.
He surged with his string of birdies starting with the 14th hole, and he controlled the tournament the rest of the way.
Both failed by three shots to advance out of the second stage of qualifying school in Texas, leaving them with no status on any tour.
“If I learned anything, you’ve got to put four good rounds together”. It had to be, especially with the wind. “I get a lot of experience in the last couple of days”, Li added. “So all around my game is pretty solid and I couldn’t be happier”. He bogeyed the hole. “And to play well today on top of it was extra special”.
Rickie Fowler’s hopes of ending his wait for a major faded with an error-strewn performance, a level-par 72 leaving him six shots adrift. Thomas was already on course for a share of the lead as he stepped up to the 18th having carded nine birdies against two bogeys in a spectacular round.
Matsuyama equaled Isao Aoki’s record for the best finish by a Japanese man in any of the four majors. We finally saw him smiling on television when it was all over. Wish him well and congratulate him. “I’m really looking forward to it”. There will be expectations. “There’s not a whole lot of fear there”.