Domingo, 22 Octubre, 2017

Fowler, Thomas let opportunity slip away at US Open

Galena Nuncio | 19 Junio, 2017, 16:34

I mean, to be honest, it just sucks to not even have a chance on that back nine.

By the time the final groups reached the turn, the championship became a three-man shootout.

Perhaps the writing was on the wall for Thomas from the opening tee shot as it sailed left into a hazard and it's always tough to back up a super low score with another one.

And when he completed his hat-trick from 16 feet on the 16th, all that was left to decide was whether he would equal or break McIlroy's record.

The 27-year-old Koepka wound up winning by four shots over Brian Harman, who was done in by back-to-back bogeys right when Koepka was making his run, and Hideki Matsuyama, who closed with a 66.

The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning. I got off to a pretty good start, which I really haven't done yet, so that was nice. I felt that if I - I just wish I was able to put a little more pressure on the course.

Around a dozen or players are realistically in contention on a crowded leaderboard. Koepka flew under the radar coming into the championship, with most prognosticators picking the other American big hitter in Dustin Johnson.

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But he had to settle for a tie for second with Harman, four strokes back of the champion.

Even under drastically different conditions than the previous three days, Koepka obliterated the wind-swept layout with a 5-under-par 67 in the final round to win by four strokes.

University Texas product Scottie Scheffler is the low amateur for this year's Open.

Heading to Sunday the U.S. Open was well and truly up for grabs with 16 players within six shots of the lead, none of whom had a major victory to their name.

One by one the contenders dropped off Sunday afternoon. His margin of victory was four shots over two golfers who tied for second place - Brian Harman, also from the US, and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.

Fleetwood was a lowly 188th in the world rankings last September, but has reaped the rewards of returning to his former coach Alan Thompson and employing his friend Ian Finnis - the husband of former England women's goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis - as his caddie.

Justin Thomas bogied three out of his first five holes and finished the day at 3 over par and 8 under for the 117th U.S. Open as he finished tied for 9th.

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Yet the biggest prizes continue to elude the popular 28-year-old, who now boasts six top-five finishes in majors without a title to show for his efforts. He also qualified out of Memphis, surviving a five-man playoff for one of the final two spots.

While many golf fans might prefer to see a dominant player, or couple of players, emerge sooner than later in this post-Woods era, No. 5 ranked Jordan Spieth of Dallas saw nothing but positives when he finished his early round of 69 Sunday, moving him to 35th place, just as the leaders' rounds were getting underway. I thought I played pretty solid on Tuesday.

It capped quite a journey for the Floridian.

He bogeyed the 12th and 13th holes. If there's no wind and soft greens, we're going to play well.

"It was kind of bombs away", he said. "You could hit it far". I guess all golfers need to get in the gym and bulk up.

Koepka will not be a one-hit wonder when it comes to winning big golf tournaments. "The players out here now aren't intimidated by long golf courses, they're intimidated by tight golf courses".

Koepka, a three-time All-American at Florida State, began his professional career on the Challenge Tour in Europe in 2012 before moving up to the regular European Tour.

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Koepka became the seventh straight first-time victor of a major championship, and it was the first time since 1998-2000 that Americans won their national championship three straight years.

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