Pebble Beach – Brooks Koepka knew the odds were stacked against him in his hunt for a third straight US Open title.
After all, it had been 114 years since Scottish immigrant Willie
Anderson became the first – and still only – man to hoist the trophy
for three straight years, doing so in 1903, ’04 and ’05.
Koepka gave it a characteristic try on Sunday, bursting out of the gate
with four birdies in five holes in pursuit of Gary Woodland.
But it was Woodland, a 35-year-old from Topeka, Kansas, celebrating
his first major title on Sunday night rather than Koepka, also winner of
a second straight PGA Championship last month, celebrating a fifth.
“It doesn’t sting,” said Koepka, who finished tied for second at the
Masters in April as well.
“I played great. Nothing I could do. I gave it
“I give it my all every time and sometimes, like this week – it
happened at Augusta – it’s not meant to be. I played great. I hit every
shot that I wanted to. And sometimes no matter how good your good is,
it isn’t there.”
After opening with a birdie, Koepka came up with a big par save at
the second, where he was far right off the tee and hit his second shot
into the dense rough short of the green.
He birdied the next three to pull within one shot of the lead.
“I thought, ‘Yeah, we’ve got a ball game now,'” Koepka said.
But Koepka would never manage to get the lead, even after he stuck his approach at 11 only 10 feet from the pin and made birdie.
He bogeyed 12, and missed the fairway at the next three, saving par but needing to do more to catch Woodland.
He gave it a shot at the par-five 18th, ripping his second shot to the short rough behind the green in his hunt for an eagle.
Once again he settled for par, his muffed chip leaving him a nine-foot birdie putt that slid by.
Koepka became the fourth player in US Open history to break 70 in all four rounds, with a final scoreline of 69-69-68-68.
But Woodland was the fifth, and Koepka could only offer his congratulations.
“It was awesome to come this close to going three in a row,” Koepka said.
“I didn’t really think about it until I was done on 18 and realised
how close I actually was to kind of, I guess, not making history, but
kind of tying it, I guess you could say. But it’s a cool feeling to
know. Just wasn’t meant to be this week.”
Final round scores
on Monday in the 119th US Open Golf Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links
271 – Gary Woodland (USA) 68-65-69-69
274 – Brooks Koepka (USA) 69-69-68-68
277 – Jon Rahm (ESP) 69-70-70-68, Xander Schauffele (USA) 66-73-71-67, Chez
Reavie (USA) 68-70-68-71, Justin Rose (ENG) 65-70-68-74
278 – Adam Scott (AUS) 70-69-71-68, Louis
Oosthuizen (RSA) 66-70-70-72
279 – Henrik Stenson (SWE) 68-71-70-70, Chesson Hadley (USA) 68-70-70-71,
Rory McIlroy (NIR) 68-69-70-72
280 – Viktor Hovland (NOR) 69-73-71-67, Danny Willett (ENG) 71-71-67-71,
Matt Wallace (ENG) 70-68-71-71, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 69-71-72-68
281 – Francesco Molinari (ITA) 68-72-71-70, An Byeong-Hun (KOR) 70-72-68-71,
Webb Simpson (USA) 74-68-73-66, Matt Kuchar (USA) 69-69-70-73, Graeme McDowell
282 – Jason Day (AUS) 70-73-70-69, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 69-73-70-70,
Patrick Cantlay (USA) 73-71-68-70, Tiger Woods (USA) 70-72-71-69, Alex Prugh
(USA) 75-69-70-68, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 70-74-69-69, Paul Casey (ENG)
283 – Sepp Straka (AUT) 68-72-76-67, Shane Lowry (IRL) 75-69-70-69, Nate
Lashley (USA) 67-74-70-72, Jim Furyk (USA) 73-67-72-71
284 – Marcus Kinhult (SWE) 74-70-74-66, Billy Horschel (USA) 73-70-71-70,
Patrick Reed (USA) 71-73-72-68
285 – Marc Leishman (AUS) 69-74-70-72, Martin Kaymer (GER) 69-75-71-70,
Jason Dufner (USA) 70-71-73-71, Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 69-74-73-69, Dustin Johnson
(USA) 71-69-71-74, Brandon Wu (USA) 71-69-71-74, Collin Morikawa (USA)
71-73-72-69, Aaron Wise (USA) 66-71-79-69
286 – Nick Taylor (CAN) 74-70-70-72, Erik
van Rooyen (RSA) 71-73-72-70, Rory Sabbatini (SVK) 72-71-73-70,
Tom Hoge (USA) 71-73-71-71, Rickie Fowler (USA) 66-77-71-72, Andrew Putnam
287 – Abraham Ancer (MEX) 74-68-69-76, Kevin Kisner (USA) 73-70-75-69,
Daniel Berger (USA) 73-70-74-70
288 – Li Haotong (CHN) 71-70-72-75, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 69-70-75-74, Carlos
Ortiz (MEX) 70-70-75-73, Scott Piercy (USA) 67-72-72-77, Phil Mickelson (USA)
72-69-75-72, Charles Howell III (USA) 72-70-74-72
289 – Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-74-74-73, Adrià Arnaus (ESP) 69-75-73-72,
Zach Johnson (USA) 70-69-79-71, Harris English (USA) 71-69-76-73, Andy Pope
(USA) 72-71-75-71, Charlie Danielson (USA) 72-70-77-70, Chandler Eaton (USA)
290 – Rafael Cabrera (ESP) 70-74-74-72, Justin Walters (RSA) 72-72-77-69, Kyle
Stanley (USA) 71-73-75-71, Brian Stuard (USA) 71-73-74-72, Jordan Spieth (USA)
72-69-73-76, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 71-73-73-73
291 – Rhys Enoch (WAL) 78-66-71-76
292 – Cameron Smith (AUS) 71-72-77-72, Clément Sordet (FRA) 76-68-74-74,
Billy Hurley III (USA) 73-70-73-76, Luke Donald (ENG) 72-70-77-73
294 – Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 71-73-78-72
295 – Brandt Snedeker (USA) 75-69-74-77
297 – Chip McDaniel (USA) 71-73-76-77
304 – Michael Thorbjornsen (USA) 71-73-84-76