US Open: Last man standing at Shinnecock

Zach Johnson on U.S. Open Saturday'They've lost the golf course
		Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Johnson on U.S. Open Saturday'They've lost the golf course Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Koepka has won a second consecutive U.S. Open, the first player to do so since Curtis Strange in 1989.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka has taken advantage of Dustin Johnson's collapse on the front nine in the third round of the U.S. Open.

It's Phil Mickelson's 48th birthday today, and knowing lefty, there's nowhere he'd rather be than on the golf course for the weekend of a major championship, especially the U.S. Open. I mean, you want to always use them in your favour.

"Unfortunately, they've lost the golf course".

In the second-last group Tommy Fleetwood and Charley Hoffman shot 77 and 78 respectively.

The scoring average was 75.33, the highest for a third round in the U.S. Open since Pebble Beach in 2000. Jim Furky, Patrick Reed and Kiradech Aphibarnrat are tied at 6 over, and a group of six golfers are 7 over. However, I do understand how it could bother many who want to see a similarly hard test, that is still fair, annually for the U.S. Open. "I had no expectation of getting this far", said Woods, who numbers three US Open victories in 2000, 2002 and 2008 among his 14 majors.

The 118th US Open will be remembered for a tumultuous Saturday when conditions and testing pin placements turned the historic Shinnecock Hills layout into a brutally punishing test and led to severe criticism of organizer the USGA.

In the most weird moment of the tournament, Phil Mickelson was so exasperated by a runaway putt that he jogged over to it and hit it back at the hole before it stopped moving.

Shinnecock Hill's water bill after the carnage on day three led to extensive watering of the course ahead of the final round.

Other names in contention included Daniel Berger and Tony Finau, up-and-coming players who perpetually populate lists of potential breakout performers, and who are now both ranked in the top forty.

Fleetwood wielded the hottest putter all week to shoot 63 yesterday, a new course record to edge DJ for second by one shot at two-over-par overall.

That set the stage for a final round in which 15 players were separated by four shots. Johnson has taken his career to the next level over the past several years, and has emerged as one of the top golfers in the world.

Fleetwood was one shot behind when he finished, and Koepka still had 11 holes to play as Shinnecock Hills began to get crisp under another sunny sky.

It was reminiscent of John Daly hitting a moving ball at Pinehurst No. 2 in the 1999 U.S. Open. "Look, I don't mean disrespect by anybody".

"My first pitch on 10, where I made triple, I thought I hit a flawless pitch", said Fowler, who was one of many players who might wish they had made the cut at five or six over par, rather than shoot a better score the first two days, because the advantage of going out in the morning Saturday was so large.

And typical of an old-styled U.S. Open, there were plenty of complaints. "I thought I could be a lot better".

Reed drilled home three birdie putts from seven, nine and four feet, respectively, on the first three holes.

Despite all the difficulties, Johnson steadied himself to arrive at the 18th tee with a one-stroke lead.

"Of course it's disappointing, but at the same time, finished tied for second at PGA a year ago, won Augusta, then I think I'll finish in the top five here", Reed said immediately after his round.

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