Brooks Koepka Becomes First Man Since 1989 To Defend U.S. Open Title
The 28-year-old Florida native became the first man to successfully defend the championship title at Shinnecock Hills since Curtis Strange did it in 1988 and 1989.
Koepka logged a two-under 68 in Southampton, New York to finish with a final score of one-over 281, just one stroke in front of England’s Tommy Fleetwood. Fleetwood close out with a 63, a result that matched the record for the lowest round in a U.S. Open.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson also finished one shot behind Koepka, who is reportedly a close friend of his.
According to the New York Times, this also marked the first time in five years ” that the winner of the men’s national championship did not break par.”
Koepka reportedly did not become interested in golf until a few years ago, and reportedly even made fun of players of the sport.
“I used to tease the guys in high school when they got a letterman’s jacket for golf,” Koepka said, according to ESPN, “because I didn’t think it was a sport.”
Koepka won the U.S. Open last year at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, finishing at 16 under to tie the tournament record Rory McIlroy set in 2011.
Shinnecock Hills, where the U.S. Open has now been held five times, was criticized by some for its setup.
The win bore an even stronger meaning for Koepka because it came on Fathers’ Day. He posted this photo after the tournament:
— Brooks Koepka (@BKoepka) June 18, 2018
It was also reported that Koepka’s girlfriend Jena Sims forgave Fox Sports commentator Joe Buck for misidentifying her after Koepka won the U.S. Open in 2017. At the time, Buck was criticized after he incorrectly called her Becky Edwards, a soccer star who previously dated Koepka.
“He clarified my name this week, so I appreciate it. But I didn’t really care,” Sims told USA Today Sports.
This year, Buck correctly identified Sims after she celebrated her boyfriend’s big victory.
Patrick Reed and Tony Finau also finished in the top five on Sunday.