US golfer Brooks Koepka battled through two tough final days at Shinnecock Hills to become the first repeat winner at the U.S. Open since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 and just the second since Ben Hogan in 1950-51.
Koepka not only had to battle 54-hole co-leader and playing partner Dustin Johnson, he had to keep his eye on a leaderboard that saw Masters champion Patrick Reed make a run and Tommy Fleetwood shoot the sixth 63 in U.S. Open history earlier in the day.
Fleetwood entered the clubhouse at 2-over par, and after both Koepka and Johnson bogeyed the 11th hole, Fleetwood’s score looked strong enough to put him in contention for a playoff. But when Koepka knocked his approach shot snug on 16 to push the lead to even par with two holes to play, there was no question that he was going clear every hurdle Shinnecock Hills provided. Round 4 was all about execution.
Koepka was all over the pins early in the round, with birdies on three of the first five holes. When the wind picked up in the afternoon, he did as good a job scrambling as anyone on the course. He was lights out on the greens, burying tough putts from 5-10 feet when his playing partner couldn’t buy a birdie putt. Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat finished in 15th place, finishing with a final round of 75 for 9 over par total to lock his PGA Tour Card for next season.