What kind of a leader board did the US Open produce this year? Well, it certainly wasn’t one featuring many of the pre-tournament favourites! They were all gone early as Erin Hills GC played tough from tee to green but whose greens ran as smooth and as true as any before seen in a US Open.
Australia’s main hopes of Jason Day and Adam Scott faded early and both missed the cut with scores which made every amateur feel a little better about their own game. A four under 68 in the first round from Marc Leishman was his best round of the week but his scoring only got worse from there. At least he managed to play the weekend though which saw him earn a tie for 27th. World Number 1 and defending champion Dustin Johnson had a horror tournament failing to make the cut with two rounds in the mid 70’s, while Rory McIlroy was never able to recover from a 78 in his first round, and his second score of 71 also saw the World Number 2 have the weekend off.
No one could take anything away from Brooks Koepka however whose final round of 67 saw him take his first major victory and a four shot win over fellow American Brian Harman and Japan’s World Number 4, Hideki Matsuyama.
Koepka’s score of 16 under par was also a tie for the lowest winning score at a US Open, equalling Rory McIlroy’s total when he won the 2011 event held at Congressional Country Club. Koepka had a putt on the last to hold the record outright at -17 but he calmly two putted from around 20 feet to claim his national championship. There will be plenty more to come from the big hitting American, whose power off the tee is matched by one of the best wedge games in the business. His touch around the green was also sublime and this year’s US Open will surely be the first of many major championships. Expect him to feature in upcoming events and at The British Open from July 20 -23rd. His ability to control trajectory, distance off the tee and accuracy into greens will see him as one of the players to watch around Royal Birkdale Golf Club.
For we mere mortals of the game, seeing some of the game’s biggest stars falter makes us realise that there really is a fine line between pleasure and pain in the game of golf and that every player can have good rounds amongst the frustrating ones. One of the best things about golf is that it is a game we can play anywhere around the world and the places we dream of playing, we look forward to and then remember – no matter how well, or otherwise, we scored.
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