SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Brooks Koepka has won a second consecutive U.S. Open, the first player to do so since Curtis Strange in 1989.
Coincidentally, Strange was covering Koepka’s twosome for Fox.
Koepka shot 16 under par last year at Erin Hills for his first major victory, winning by four shots. He was in a four-way tie for the lead after three rounds at Shinnecock Hills and shot 68 on a benign course for a 1-over 281 total as no player could match par.
Koepka’s birdie at the par-5 16th stretched his lead to two shots over Tommy Fleetwood, who tied the U.S. Open single-round record with a 63. Fleetwood missed an 8-footer for birdie on the 18th that would have given him the record for this tournament and tied the 62 Branden Grace shot in last year’s British Open for lowest round in any major.
Then Koepka parred 17 and had the luxury of making bogey at 18.
The USGA admitted Saturday it had lost a handle on the course. So Shinnecock Hills was relatively tame in the final round.
Fleetwood, who finished much earlier, wound up alone in second place at 282.
Retief Goosen was the most recent player with a good chance of repeating since Strange did it. The South African won at Shinnecock in 2004, then led by three shots at Pinehurst the next year. But he shot 81 in the final round and Michael Campbell was the surprise winner.
There have been 22 multiple winners since the U.S. Open first was played in 1895.