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How the United States has dominated golf in the last 12 months

Koepka, Spieth, Thomas and Reed have won the last five majors.

Jordan Spieth leads the United States’ recent dominance of majors after winning his third title last summer (Richard Sellers/PA).
Jordan Spieth leads the United States’ recent dominance of majors after winning his third title last summer (Richard Sellers/PA).

Twentysomething Americans have won the last five majors, starting and ending with Brooks Koepka’s back-to-back US Open triumph.

Press Association Sport looks at how the United States has dominated golf for 12 months.

Brooks Koepka, US Open 2017

Brooks Koepka won his first major with victory at the 2017 US Open (David Davies/PA).

Koepka was never outside the top four all week and started his final round just one shot off the lead held by Brian Harman. With the likes of world number one Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose missing the cut and Jordan Spieth off form the way opened up for Koepka, after rounds of 67-70-68, to take the lead on the second hole and complete his first major victory by four shots with a record-equalling lowest US Open score of 16 under.

Jordan Spieth, Open 2017

Jordan Spieth won his first Claret Jug after a dramatic final day of the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale (Andrew Matthews/PA).

Spieth completed a wire-to-wire victory for his third major title as he won by three shots but the win was not without drama on the final day. Beginning the fourth round with a three-shot lead bogeys on three of his first four holes dropped him into a tie with compatriot and playing partner Matt Kuchar. Spieth incurred an unplayable lie on the 13th and famously had to play his third shot from the adjacent practice ground but escaped with a bogey to lose only one shot to Kuchar. However, he bounced back in impressive fashion with a run of three birdies and an eagle to take a two-stroke lead down the last and Kuchar’s bogey made it comfortable.

Justin Thomas, USPGA 2017

Justin Thomas’ major breakthrough came at the 2017 USPGA (Richard Sellers/PA).

Thomas won his first major title by two strokes having only taken a share of the lead with nine holes remaining on the final day. An opening 73 had left him six shots back but a second-round 66 moved him into the top seven, albeit five behind. He reduced the deficit to Kevin Kisner to two after shooting 69 on Saturday and the leader stuttered over the front nine of the final round after failing to record a birdie. Back-to-back birdies around the turn put Thomas into a share of the lead and a chip-in at 13 put him ahead on his own and a birdie-bogey finish lifted him to eight under, with his rivals all dropping shots over the final three holes.

Patrick Reed, Masters 2018

Patrick Reed was America’s third maiden major winner in four events with his Masters victory (Davies Davies/PA).

Reed was the third maiden winner in four attempts for the United States after assuming the second round lead and never letting it slip. Nine birdies on Friday contributed to a 66 to open up a two-shot advantage, which became three from Ryder Cup rival Rory McIlroy after the third round. On the Sunday Reed held off the challenges of Rickie Fowler, Spieth and Jon Rahm as McIlroy fell away, shooting 71 to win by one.

Brooks Koepka, US Open 2018

Koepka became only the third post-War player to record back-to-back US Open wins (Richard Sellers/PA).

Koepka became only the third post-War player to successfully defend his title, with a one shot victory over England’s Tommy Fleetwood. An opening 75 left him six shots off the lead but a brilliant 66 thrust him into the mix and on a fraught third day, with the greens becoming so fast they were almost unplayable, he held on to take a share of the lead into round four. A superb 63 from Fleetwood put the pressure on but Koepka came home in 68, even able to afford a bogey at the last.



From Belfast Telegraph