Here are the final round highlights from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, which was won for the second year in a row by Brooks Koepka.
It was another glorious Father’s Day Sunday at the U.S. Open as Shinnecock Hills finally let up a bit and allowed some of the best players in the world to make a few birdies and provide some great entertainment for golf fans around the world.
Tommy Fleetwood shot the sixth 63 in U.S. Open history, also good enough for the low round at a U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills and the lowest score of the week. Masters champion Patrick Reed got off to a hot start in his quest to keep the Grand Slam alive but came up just short and world number one Dustin Johnson was also around the top of the leaderboard all day but missed some key short putts that essentially cost him the championship.
The final pairing of Daniel Berger and Tony Finau showed flashes of brilliance but some early bogeys cost them a few shots and they just couldn’t catch up. In the end, it was Brooks Koepka who survived the field, hanging on and standing tall as the U.S. Open champion. Shooting a 2-under 68 in the final round, Koepka finished the tournament at 1-over par, one stroke clear of Fleetwood.
Here are the final round highlights from the 2018 U.S. Open.
Long before the leaders teed off, the marquee group in the morning featured Rickie Fowler, who shot a disastrous 84 on Saturday, and Phil Mickelson, who took plenty of heat following his epic putting meltdown on the 13th hole during his third round.
On his way to a solid 1-under round of 69, Mickelson had a little fun at the 13th after making par, six shots better than the 10 he carded on Saturday. Obviously trying to get back in the good graces of some who feel he should have been disqualified or simply withdrawn from the U.S. Open on his own, or perhaps making fun of himself or mocking the USGA, Lefty raised his arms in triumph after sinking the putt as if he had actually won the tournament.
As for Fowler, he also got a bit of redemption in his final round, carding a 5-under 65, the lowest round of the championship at that point, 19 shots better than his third round. He’ll remain in the conversation of “best player without a major” for at least another month, finishing at 11-over for the week.
Also with a solid round on Sunday (and also part of that conversation that involves Fowler) was world No. 10 Hideki Matsuyama, who shot a 4-under round of 66, 13 shots better than his round on Saturday.
Patrick Cantlay couldn’t get things going, making bogey on three of his first six holes, but still turned a few heads with this shot into the par-3 7th on his way to a 3-over 73, perhaps also showing the leaders that there were birdies out there to be had.
Tommy Fleetwood was six shots out of the lead heading into this round but he got things going early with birdies on four of his first seven holes, including this one at the 7th.
Making a quick move up the board as the leaders got going was Masters champ Patrick Reed, who made birdie at the first three holes to get into a tie for the lead at 3-over.
Not long after Reed made his third birdie in a row, Fleetwood, who finished fourth at last year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills, made his fifth birdie of the day at the 12th to climb within two shots of the five-way tie at the top.
That tie at the top didn’t last long as defending U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka birdied the difficult 264-yard, par-3 2nd hole. Following a fantastic tee shot, one of the best of the day, Koepka drained this putt to take the lead by himself at 2-over and then extended his lead to two strokes with another birdie at the 3rd.
Former U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick got himself into the mix with three birdies on the front nine and then made the turn with another at the 10th to get to 4-over for the tournament, three shots behind Koepka. But a rough back nine that included three bogeys and a double thwarted his chances of becoming the 12th player in history to win both the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open.
After birdies at 12 and 13, Tommy Fleetwood kept things rolling at the long, par-4 14th, which yielded zero birdies on Saturday, with his third consecutive birdie, his seventh of the day, to get to 6-under for his round and 3-over for the tournament, two shots out of the lead.
Not to be outdone, Patrick Reed continued his hot start by making his fourth birdie in his first five holes with this fantastic putt at the 5th, moving him to 2-over for the championship and one out of the lead.
But Fleetwood remained relentless, carding his fourth consecutive birdie with a three at the par-4 15th to tie Reed at 2-over.
With his birdie turn apparently up, Patrick Reed made his fifth of the day at the par-3 7th, getting back to solo second at 1-over, one shot behind Brooks Koepka, who made birdie at the par-5 5th to get back to even for the week. Soon after Reed’s birdie, however, Koepka bogeyed the 6th, putting Reed back into a tie at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard.
If you’re wondering where the rest of the leaders from the start of the round were at this point, Dustin Johnson made birdie at the 5th to move to 2-over for the tournament, one shot back of Reed of Reed and Koepka. Daniel Berger bogeyed the 2nd and 3rd holes but got a shot back with a birdie at the 5th to get to 4-over. Tony Finau also birdied the 5th but also made bogeys at the 2nd, 3rd and 4th and was four shots back of the lead after playing five holes.
Following a great drive and great approach at the 18th, Fleetwood had a great chance to shoot the first 62 in U.S. Open history, which would have also tied for the lowest-ever round in a major championship, but his birdie try just missed to the right and he had to settle for the sixth 63 in the storied history of this championship. That put him at 2-over for the tournament and he headed to the clubhouse for the longest wait of his career. Quite the day for the Englishman.
With Fleetwood in the clubhouse at 2-over, the action at Shinnecock Hills continued as Dustin Johnson, who had dropped a shot at the 7th, got it back at the par-4 8th with a birdie to get to 2-over for the championship, at that time just one back of the lead and tied for second with Fleetwood and Patrick Reed, who made bogey at the 9th.
Reed also made a bogey at the par-3 11th to drop to 3-over, two shots behind Koepka, but things could have been much worse. After his tee shot sailed over the green and put him in a very difficult spot, his second shot back up the hill looked like it had way too much on it and was going to go over the green and down into the bunkers on the right, bringing double or perhaps triple-bogey into play. But the ball hit the flagstick and came to rest just over 13 feet from the cup.
Tony Finau continued to try to crawl back into contention and got back into the top five with birdies at the 8th and 9th to get back to 1-over for the day and 4-over for the championship, three shots behind Koepka, who shot 33 on the front nine to remain at 1-over.
Following three consecutive pars following his bogey at the 6th, Koepka made the turn and following a beautiful approach into the 10th green, he made his fourth birdie of the day to get back to even for the week, two shots clear of Dustin Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood.
Koepka’s lead dropped to one over Fleetwood at the 11th. After a disastrous tee shot that ended up in a worse spot than Patrick Reed, he purposely played his second to the bunkers but made a great up-and-down to save bogey. Dustin Johnson three-putted the hole to remain two back.
Meanwhile, Daniel Berger, who was tied for the lead at the beginning of the day but shot 2-over on the front side, began his second nine with a great birdie at the 10th to close within three. His playing partner in the final pairing, Tony Finau also kept his momentum going with a rare birdie at the 11th to get back to even for the day and close within two.
After dropping that shot at 11 and then another at 12, Patrick Reed got back on the birdie train at the par-4 15th, rolling in a nice putt to get back to 3-over, two shots behind Brooks Koepka.
As Reed was doing that, however, Koepka was having a little trouble at the 14th. His tee shot found the right rough and he could only advance the ball up the fairway, leaving a very difficult up-and-down for his par. He hit a nice third shot and had a testy putt for par and drained it, maintaining his one-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood and a two-shot advantage over Reed.
As for Dustin Johnson, he missed yet another short putt at the 14th, giving him his fifth three-putt over the last two days and dropping him three shots behind the lead at 4-over. Not going away quietly, however, DJ fought back with a birdie at the 15th to get back to within two of Koepka.
With the field running out of holes, Koepka inched a step closer to slamming the door with a great approach shot at the par-5 16th and draining the ensuing birdie putt to get back to even for the championship, two shots clear of Tommy Fleetwood and three ahead of Johnson, Reed and Finau.
With a par at 17 and another Dustin Johnson three-putt that took him out of the running completely, Koepka only had to make bogey or better at the last to win and following a great drive into the fairway, he got a great break when his approach bounced off the left grandstands and back into play, leaving a difficult shot for his third. But he played it beautifully, leaving himself two putts and he did just that to emerge as the 2018 U.S. Open champion.
What a week it was at the 2018 U.S. Open from Shinnecock Hills. See you next year at Pebble Beach.
What were your favorite moments of the 2018 U.S. Open? Please feel free to join in the conversation in the comments section below.