Koepka fights off challengers to successfully defend U.S. Open title

American Brooks Koepka held on to defend his U.S. Open crown with a one-stroke victory.

Published : Jun 18, 2018 15:49 IST

Brooks Koepka became the first man in 29 years to defend his U.S. Open title with a one-shot win at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday.

Koepka, who missed three months earlier this year with a wrist injury, successfully defended his crown by defeating Tommy Fleetwood (63) by one shot.

After shooting a two-under 68 to finish the tournament at one over, Koepka became the first player to win back-to-back U.S. Opens since Curtis Strange in 1988-89, and just the seventh to do it overall.

Koepka, 28, became just the fifth player in the Masters era to win multiple U.S. Opens in his 20s and the first since Tiger Woods. No player in that time has won more than two in their 20s.

Fleetwood made waves early on Sunday, becoming just the sixth person in U.S. Open history to shoot a 63. He made eight birdies and one bogey to fire a seven-under round to finish second at two over.

Fleetwood waited in the clubhouse for more than three hours waiting to see if his score would be good enough for at least a play-off, but Koepka prevailed.

Dustin Johnson birdied the 72nd hole to shoot a final-round even-par 70 and finish third at three over. Johnson held a four-shot lead after two rounds, but shot seven over on the weekend to narrowly miss out on another major title.

Reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed made an early move, jumping to within one shot of the lead, but he fell back during the middle of his round to settle for fourth at four over. Reed shot a two-under 68 with six birdies and four bogeys.

Tony Finau double bogeyed the final hole to finish fifth at five over. He shot a two-over 72 in round four.

Xander Schauffele, Henrik Stenson, Daniel Berger and Tyrrell Hatton all tied for sixth at six over. Hatton and Schauffele both shot under par, and the latter has now recorded two straight top-10s at U.S. Opens.

Justin Rose and Players Championship winner Webb Simpson snuck into the top 10 at seven over.

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