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US Open: Brooks Koepka beats Tommy Fleetwood at Shinnecock Hills


American Brooks Koepka retained his US Open title with a one-shot victory over England’s record-equalling Tommy Fleetwood at Shinnecock Hills.

Koepka, 28, closed with a two-under-par 68 to top the leaderboard at one over and deny Fleetwood a first major title.

Fleetwood, 27, had set the clubhouse lead at two over after a scintillating seven-under-par 63 – the joint-lowest round in US Open history.

World number one Dustin Johnson shot a 70 to finish third on three over.

England’s Justin Rose, who began the day one shot adrift of a four-way tie for the lead, finished tied for 10th on seven over after a three-over 73.

The course was set up in a more favourable fashion for the final round after organisers had to apologise and admit they “went too far” with the layout as only three players broke par on Saturday.

There were also calls for five-time major winner Phil Mickelson to be disqualified after he broke the rules during the third round.

World number four Koepka, who claimed his first major at Erin Hills last year, became the first player to retain the US Open title since Curtis Strange won in 1988 and 1989.

“This is incredible. I don’t think I could have dreamed of going back-to-back. It’s truly special and I am honoured,” he said.

“I always felt like I had a chance. I was never out of it. I just needed to keep grinding. I knew the conditions would ease up a bit and I took advantage of it.”

Fantastic Fleetwood

Fleetwood, who eclipsed his fourth place at last year’s US Open, took full advantage of the favourable set-up at the course on Long Island in the state of New York.

The world number 12 became the sixth golfer to shoot 63 in the US Open – joining Justin Thomas, Vijay Singh, Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus – and was one short of matching the all-time major record of 62 set by South Africa’s Branden Grace during last year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Miller, in 1973, and Fleetwood are the only players to card a 63 in the tournament’s final round.

He holed eight birdies, including a superb run of four on the trot in the middle of the back nine, but missed an eight-foot birdie putt on the last.

Fleetwood then had to watch for more than two hours as the leaders completed their rounds.

“A 62 was more on my mind than where I was in the tournament coming down the last few holes,” said the 27-year-old from Southport. “It’s special to shoot a 63 at the US Open.

“I thought 62 after six or seven holes. I knew I had to shoot something good. Last night we said shoot the greatest score in a US Open and you’ll have a chance. It’s alright saying that but it never happens.

“Just getting that close is the ultimate thing that I will take from this. It’s nice as a golfer to have that hard work start paying off. Hopefully this is just one stage in me winning majors.”

 


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