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How the day unfolded as Brooks Koepka successfully defended US Open title

Tommy Fleetwood’s charge up the leaderboard was in vain as Koepka sealed a one-shot victory.

Brooks Koepka successfully defended his US Open title (AP/Julio Cortez)
Brooks Koepka successfully defended his US Open title (AP/Julio Cortez)

Tommy Fleetwood came within inches of making history as Brooks Koepka impressively held his nerve to become the first player to win back-to-back US Open titles for 29 years.

Fleetwood carded a stunning final round of 63 at Shinnecock Hills, agonisingly missing from eight feet for birdie on the 18th to equal the all-time major record of 62 set by Branden Grace in last year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

The 27-year-old’s score still matched the lowest in US Open history and set a testing clubhouse target on two over par, with Koepka the only player able to beat it – by a single shot – thanks to a nerveless 68.

Tweet of the day

Koepka’s brother and fellow professional Chase may have been celebrating a bit loudly.

Shot of the day

Protecting a one-shot lead with three holes to play, Koepka struck the vital blow with a superb approach to the par-five 16th to set up a tap-in birdie.

Round of the day

Koepka’s 68 was brilliant under the pressure of holding the lead, but Fleetwood came within a whisker of equalling the lowest score in major championship history and still matched the best ever in the US Open.

Quote of the day

“It hasn’t sunk in yet, this is incredible. I don’t think I could have dreamed of this, going back-to-back.” – The size of his achievement begins to dawn on Koepka.

Statistic of the day

The Golf Channel’s Justin Ray puts Fleetwood’s performance in perspective.

Toughest hole

Dustin Johnson misses a putt on the 18th green Julio Cortez/AP)

The 18th played as the toughest hole for the first time, perhaps unsurprisingly given it is a 486-yard uphill par four. Dustin Johnson carded one of the seven birdies to finish outright third, while Koepka took one of the 18 bogeys as the hole played to an average of 4.313.

Easiest hole

For the third day in succession, the fifth hole played as the easiest with an average of 4.836, offering up one eagle and 26 birdies.

On the up

Tommy Fleetwood carded a stunning final round of 63 at Shinnecock Hills (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Fleetwood’s prospects of a first major title after he followed last year’s fourth place with a runners-up finish, coincidentally behind the man he partnered in the final round at Erin Hills 12 months earlier.

On the slide

European hopes of breaking the American stranglehold on golf’s biggest titles, with Koepka’s win meaning they still hold all four majors and all the transatlantic team competitions.



From Belfast Telegraph