The Golden Season of Classic Sports: U.S.Open 2018
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And so it’s over. The 2018 U.S.Open ended with a soon-t0-be-very familiar name at the top of the leaderboard followed closely by another hot young golfer on the way up.
The winner of this year’s U.S.Open–the man who best navigated all four days of a treacherous course and unpredictable weather–is, amazingly, the very same man who laid waste to the cupcake course setup last year, winning the 2017 Open with a 16 under par score. That would be Brooks Koepka, who joins a very short list of golfing greats (six in all, including Curtis Strange, Bobby Jones, and Ben Hogan) who have won the U.S.Open back-to-back.
The irony of Koepka’s win is stunning: the massive under-par score he posted at last year’s Open at Erin Hills was the impetus behind the USGA, the organizing and sanctioning body for the U.S.Open, making the decision to toughen up the course this year and make it a lot more difficult for the golfers. That they did.
Koepka was one over for the tournament. The runner up, Tommy Fleetwood, who posted a very low 63 on the closing day, was two over. In winning on both one of the easiest courses ever set up for a U.S. Open (Erin Hills) and one of the hardest (Shinnecock Hills), Koepka displayed a range of ability that sets him apart from most of the current crop of pros. A really good professional golfer should be really good on all types of courses–we expect it from them and they expect from themselves–but that’s not always how it ends up.
Dustin Johnson, who entered the weekend with a four stroke lead, couldn’t close it out. Tommy Fleetwood, who shot the lowest round of the tournament couldn’t push it over into a win (but he could be very dangerous at The British Open).
Golf’s traditional go-to guys for big wins has a new name: Koepka. As for the old favorites–Speith, Rose, Thomas, Day, Reed, Woods–they’re going to have to get back in the groove. Like the rest of the world, everything is changing in golf and if you’re not moving forward, you’re going backward.
Next up: The British Open.
Below: the wrap up of the 2018 U.S.Open.
New York Times Coverage
Washington Post Coverage
NBC Coverage of US Open
SportsNation Coverage of US Open
What’s in the bag: Brooks Koepka’s clubs.
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