Golfer Koepka carves out US Open win

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Southampton (New York), June 18 (IANS) US golfer Brooks Koepka won his second consecutive US Open title at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Course here on Sunday.

Koepka shot 75, 66, 72 and 68 in the four rounds respectively for a total of one-over 281, reports Efe.

The victory comes after he won the 2017 US Open in Wisconsin, a twofer that had not been achieved since 1988-89, when Curtis Strange won two back-to-back Opens in Massachusetts and New York, reports Efe.

Koepka’s triumph is also the fourth by an American since Jordan Spieth’s 2015 win and is especially relevant in a Ryder Cup year, the biennial competition between the US and Europe that will be played in late September in Paris.

Americans ended up dominating the classification board, headed by Koepka with a four-day total of one-over 281, considerably worse than his 16-under score last year, with Brit Tommy Fleetwood at 282.

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Fleetwood had shot a marvelous seven-under 63 on Sunday for a total of 282, and he was the man to beat as Koepka went through his own nail-biting final round.

Meanwhile, Dustin Johnson (283), ranked number one in the world, Patrick Reed (284), the winner of the Augusta Masters this year, Tony Finau (285) and Xander Schauffele (286) finished near their countryman and have good prospects for being included in the US Ryder Cup team.

The players had complained of the brutal conditions at Shinnecock Hills over the past four days, but Koepka — who shot a 68 in the final round — and the other top scorers seemed to keep their nerve through the final stretch.

Legendary US golfer Phil Mickelson was hit with a two-stroke penalty on the third day of play at this year’s 118th edition of the US Open for swatting a moving — and misdirected – putt with his putter, explaining later that he preferred to take the penalty rather than play the ball from off the green.

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Meanwhile, Spain’s No-5-ranked Jon Rahm was unable to get the traction he needed and Tiger Woods, the winner of three US Opens, was unable to make the eight-over par cut, being at 10-over after the first two days.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma missed the halfway cut.

–IANS

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