ERIN , Wis. — The 117th U.S. Open marked the first time when you consider that 1994 that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been both absent from a tremendous championship and bet what? They weren’t missed.
Tiger has a nasty again and Phil was once at his daughter’s commencement, leaving The Us’s national championship to fend for itself. there was a time when their presence overshadowed on the subject of everyone else and God forbid if neither was once in rivalry on Sunday. It intended positive dying for tv ratings.
Truth is the game has been in transition from their technology of dominance for some time now. On Sunday, Brooks Koepka supplied the exclamation aspect.
in the event you don’t observe golfing you most likely didn’t acknowledge the names on the leaderboard Sunday. With Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day failing to make the reduce, the record of contenders was stuffed with gamers seeking to transform the seventh straight first-time prime winner. And that’s now not a bad factor.
We’ve been ready to look who shall be the following Tiger Woods. Somewhat frankly, we’d higher get aware of the truth that can by no means occur, now not with the intensity and the skill that was once on display this weekend, and particularly on Sunday whilst the wind after all arrived just in time to make Erin Hills play like its architects expected.
Phil Mickelson neglected the U.S. Open to attend his daughters commencement.Getty Images
With gusts up to 25 mph and the vegetables slick as glass, it become a true test of survival that ended with Koepka taking control with three birdies on 14, 15, and 16. His FIVE-under par 67 gave him a winning overall of SIXTEEN-underneath par, tying the bottom 72-hole rating in relation to par in U.S. Open historical past.
“I played really cast from the instant I came,” Koepka mentioned. “All-round my game used to be pretty solid and that i couldn’t be happier.”
It was an important final round with a bevy of younger players looking to end up they’d what it takes to win an immense. there has been Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, capturing a 6-beneath par SIXTY SIX to publish 12-below at the same time as the remainder leaders had five holes to play.
there has been Tommy Fleetwood Of England making an attempt desperately to hang in competition after three bogeys at the entrance facet threatened to make him beside the point. there has been Brian Harman, the 54-hole chief from Georgia, trying to end up Erin Hills isn’t only for big hitters, and there was Rickie Fowler, making an attempt again to erase the label of being the most efficient player but to win a tremendous.
And there has been Koepka, a self-proclaimed underachiever because he entered with just one Excursion victory and a whole bunch potential.
“I couldn’t stand the truth, I’d most effective received once,” he stated.
A member of the profitable U.S. Ryder Cup crew closing fall, he had mentioned the power of taking part in in the final spherical of the U.S. Open could be nothing in comparison to the intensity of enjoying at Hazeltine where the Americans ended an 8-yr drought by means of beating the Europeans.
Rickie FowlerGetty Images
He played find it irresistible on Sunday. Calm, cool and courageous, he posted birdies on his first two holes and any other on the par-FOUR eighth to take the lead. and even after a bogey at the par-FOUR tenth, the 27-12 months-antique steadied himself enough to save lots of par on the subsequent three holes earlier than creating a FIVE-footer at the 14th for the primary of those straight birdies that placed a strangle hang on the event.
“I don’t think I ever were given nervous,” he said.
Koepka is a good friend and exercise partner of Johnson, the 2016 U.S. Open champion. they’re males of few phrases, but Johnson known as him sooner than Sunday’s spherical and instructed him to “stick with his recreation plan.” Koepka did that.
“The extra affected person I become the more i can placed myself in those situations,” he mentioned.
Someplace Woods, a vice captain on the Ryder Cup, and Mickelson, the crew chief, needed to be applauding their Ryder Cup teammate. Their recreation has welcomed a brand new megastar.