As recently as Friday afternoon, Brooks Koepka had no idea he would be hoisting his second U.S. Open trophy in as many years.
Koepka, 28, who became just the seventh player to win back-to-back U.S. Opens, was 7 over early in his second round Friday, drifting out of contention. But a spirited charge got him back in the mix, and he proved the best player in the field over the weekend.
“It sounds incredible,” Koepka said after his round, on becoming a two-time U.S. Open champion. “To be honest with you, probably couldn’t have dreamed of it in my wildest dreams. I’m at a loss for words right now, but it’s really incredible. I mean, I couldn’t be happier. We grinded our tail off this week to come back from 7-over and do what we did. It was pretty special.”
Koepka entered the final round in a four-way tie for the lead with Daniel Berger, Tony Finau and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. But it became Koepka’s tournament to lose early after he posted three birdies in his first five holes.
“U.S. Open just takes so much discipline,” Koepka said. “You have got to be a great putter and just kind of let things roll off your back. That is something we do pretty well. We were able to bounce back very well considering whether it be a bogey, a double and just kind of move on. It’s a fun week. I enjoy the test.
“I enjoy being pushed to the limit. Sometimes you feel like you are about to break mentally, but that’s what I enjoy. I enjoy hard golf courses. I enjoy playing about the toughest in golf you are ever going to play.”
It appeared few words were spoken between friends Koepka and Johnson while playing together Sunday, but Koepka said he enjoyed having Johnson by his side.
“It was enjoyable playing with him,” Koepka said of Johnson. “We didn’t really speak too much. He was busy grinding his tail off and I was busy grinding mine. We’re extremely close. I love the guy to death. It would have been fun to duel it out with him coming down the end, having to make some putts. It was a fun round. I did enjoy it.
Just wasn’t my day but ended on a high note. Congrats to @BKoepka on a well deserved win!
— Dustin Johnson (@DJohnsonPGA) June 17, 2018
With the win, Koepka became the fourth golfer since World War II to win two U.S. Open titles before turning 30, joining Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Jack Nicklaus.