Last Updated: 18/06/18 1:45am
Brooks Koepka was “truly honoured” after becoming the seventh repeat winner of the US Open and the first since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989.
The 28-year-old American, who won his maiden major at Erin Hills last year, triumphed by one shot from Tommy Fleetwood at Shinnecock Hills after closing with a two-under 68.
“To have my name on there twice is pretty incredible, and to go back to back is even more extraordinary,” he said. “It feels so special. I’m truly honoured to go back to back.
“I knew that it was going to be that much more difficult, and to finally do it, it’s much more gratifying the second time. I can really appreciate how hard it is to win a major. Hopefully there will be a few more.”
Koepka holed some vital putts on the back nine, including one from 12 feet for a bogey on the par-three 11th after he had pulled his tee shot into the rough on the left and then chipped across the green into a bunker.
He added: “I felt like I made those clutch eight-to-10-footers that you need to make to keep the momentum going.
Back-to-back US Open champions
Willie Anderson – 1903-1905
John McDermott – 1911-1912
Bob Jones – 1929-1930
Ralph Guldahl – 1937-1938
Ben Hogan – 1950-1951
Curtis Strange – 1988-1989
Brooks Koepka – 2017-2018
“Starting with the great bogey I made at 11, I think that was big because, from where we were, I want to say I would have taken double when we were in jail. You can’t miss it there. To make that big of a mistake, you just want to walk away with bogey.
“But I knew the bunker, as long as I kept it below the hole, I’d have an uphill putt and we played the hole exactly how we wanted to from there on out.
“Luckily, that putt went in, and that built some momentum coming down the stretch and made me feel a little bit better with the putter.”
Fleetwood was out fairly early on and heaped the pressure on the later starters by firing a seven-under 63 which left him on two over and setting a testing clubhouse target.
“Sixty-three in a US Open is always pretty impressive,” said Koepka. “It was hard not to miss. It was the lowest red number up there. Seven under is incredible. Hats off to him. That’s some golf.
“He seems to bring it every time it’s a US Open. Last year, playing with him in the final round, it was pretty impressive. He played very well.
“He’s a great player. I’ve known him for maybe five years now, going on that roughly. But he’s an incredible player. He’ll definitely be holding some major championships here soon.”
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