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Butch: Koepka the only winner

19 June 2017 National Sport


Golf Columnist

Last Updated: 19/06/17 2:05am

Butch Harmon reflects on Brooks Koepka’s impressive maiden major success at the US Open and reviews another near-miss for Rickie Fowler at Erin Hills.

It was a fantastic day for Brooks Koepka and a great performance. He three-putted on the 10th green, his only bogey of the day, and was solid from tee-to-green.

He made the putts when he needed to down the stretch, with birdies at the 14th, 15th and 16th taking the tournament away from everyone and making sure nobody else had a chance.

Koepka finished four strokes clear of Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman

Koepka finished four strokes clear of Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman

Koepka finished four strokes clear of Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman

When the day started we thought there could be at least 10 guys who all had a chance of winning the US Open, but when we got into the back nine there was only one guy whoever looked like winning.

He has always been a good player, winning three times on the European Challenge Tour and getting that battlefield promotion to the European Tour. He won on that, moved over to the PGA Tour and worked hard to get up the money list to where he is today.

Koepka played alongside Tommy Fleetwood during the final round

Koepka played alongside Tommy Fleetwood during the final round

Koepka played alongside Tommy Fleetwood during the final round

Brooks is a player who has got more consistent each year, as has his position in the world rankings. He has got into a position where he now knows just how good he can play, which he has shown to the rest of the world with this final round display.

It will be interesting to see what Brooks does next and how he copes with being a major champion, as some people struggle with all of the extra interest and media attention.

For me, I think he’s going to handle it just fine. If I was him, I’d love every minute of it because you never know if or when you’re going to get another one!

It didn’t quite happen for Rickie Fowler today, who birdied the first but then missed from five feet at the second. From then on in it just wasn’t his day, and he has to learn how to close majors out on Sundays.

Fowler finished in a share of fifth spot

Fowler finished in a share of fifth spot

Fowler finished in a share of fifth spot

He has been in this position before and in 2014 finished inside the top five of all of the majors, he had a chance at this year’s Masters and came close again here at Erin Hills. That’s not what it’s all about though, but I’m confident he’ll eventually get over the line and win one.


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