2018 U.S. Open Recap

Koepka holds off the pack to win back-to-back U.S. Opens

Southampton, NY – Brooks Koepka (+1) won the 2018 U.S. Open and celebrated back to back U.S. Open victories. In doing so, the 28-year-old American became one of seven men to win the tournament back to back. He proved to be just a little bit better than the rest on a week where no one was able to break par. The week was also filled with several of the kinds of contentious storylines we have come to expect from the U.S. Open in recent years.

With many of the big names in the field failing to make the weekend, the setup and conditioning became the major storyline at Shinnecock Hills. After Thursday, when the wind blew hard in an unusual direction, making scoring hard to come by, the course was a bit more receptive on Friday. However, after the third round, the setup drew the ire of many players who felt it had gotten too firm and dry towards the end of the day and that some pins had been placed in unfair locations. On Sunday, it was clear that the USGA had taken heed of the critics and softened up the golf course considerably.

When the cut line for the weekend came in +8, there was only one player under par – Dustin Johnson. That score didn’t last very long on Saturday, however, as DJ went +4 in his first 6 holes to get back to even par. Although DJ ended the day with a 7-over 77, he was still tied for the lead at 3 over par. Tony Finau and Daniel Berger both shot impressive rounds of 66 on Saturday, tying DJ for a share of the 56-hole lead, while Koepka also tamed his Saturday round to grab a share of the lead heading into Sunday.

Having gone out early and played and excellent round Sunday morning, Fleetwood missed a putt for 62 on the 18th and spent the rest of the afternoon watching the rest of the action on TV. Patrick Reed and Tony Finau both made moves up the leaderboard but failed to capitalize on enough opportunities to truly threaten. With his putter letting him down too often, Dustin Johnson also failed to challenge Koepka for the lead. While Fleetwood’s round was impressive, it came up just short as Koepka kept his nerve and and kept his foot on the gas, shooting a final round 68.

The 5th time that Shinnecock hosted the U.S. Open, 2018 will likely also be remembered for the bizarre incident involving Phil Mickelson that took place Saturday on the 13th green. Phil was given a 2-stroke penalty for the infraction but many believed he should’ve been disqualified. When he chased after a putt that was running downhill and hit it back uphill towards the hole before it had come to rest, Phil incited a firestorm of discussion about the intersection of rules, ethics, and character in professional golf.

The tournament also finished with a unique leaderboard. While Koepka finished first and shot +1, Fleetwood finished second and shot +2, Johnson came in third at +3, Reed shot +4, and Finau finished solo 5th at +5. Other notable scores include some stars who missed the cut: Jordan Spieth (+9), Tiger Woods (+10), Rory McIlroy (+10), Bubba Watson (+11), Jason Day (+12), Adam Scott (+13), Sergio Garcia (+14), and Jon Rahm (+15). Next week the PGA Tour heads to TPC River Highlands and the Travelers Championship where Jordan Spieth will defend his title.

Brooks Koepka What’s In The Bag

Driver: TaylorMade M4 9.5° (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70 TX)

3 Wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour HL 16.5° (Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX)

Driving Iron: Nike Vapor Fly Pro 3 Iron (Fujikura Pro 95 Tour Spec)

Irons: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour 4-PW (True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 / S400 for PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 Raw 52-56-60° (True Temper Dynamic Gold S400)

Putter: Scotty Cameron T10 Select Newport 2 prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *