TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Men’s Golf Alum Brooks Koepka’s star rose even brighter on Sunday evening as he achieved something not many golfers have done: Winning consecutive U.S. Open titles.
After bursting on the scene last year with an emphatic 16-under final score at Erin Hills, he won on a Shinnecock Hills Golf Course that many described as “pure carnage” throughout the weekend. Koepka ended the toughest tournament in golf at 1-over.
In the process, he joined an illustrious club that includes Curtis Strange (1988-89), Ben Hogan (1950-51), Ralph Guldahl (1937-38), Bob Jones (1929-30), John McDermott (1911-12) and Willie Anderson (1903-05) as the golfers who have won consecutive U.S. Open Championships.
“A few months ago when Brooks was coming off his wrist injury he told me that he would win within the next two months,” FSU Men’s Golf head coach Trey Jones said. “And I didn’t doubt it for a minute. He said the layoff only made him hungrier. He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever coached. There is so much to golf beyond golf swing and mechanics. I’m beyond proud for him. I also know he will continue to excel.”
Last year, Koepka became the fourth Seminole to win a Major, joining Hubert Green, Jeff Sluman and Paul Azinger. He now joins Green (1977 U.S. Open, 1985 PGA Championship) as the only FSU golfers to win multiple majors.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Koepka said in his post-championship ceremony on FOX. “This is incredible. I don’t think of could have dreamed of this – going back to back. It’s truly special and I’m so honored.”
At one point in the U.S. Open, Koepka was 7-over following a first-round 75. But his second-round 66 changed everything and propelled him back into contention. Following a 2-over 72 on Saturday on a day where many golfers struggled, he sat in a four-way tie for the lead entering Sunday’s final round.
Koepka’s final-round 68 had its share of enormous shots. On holes 11 and 12, after getting himself into tough predicaments he came through with bogey and par saves, respectively, to help him stay atop the leaderboard. On the par-5 16th hole, he hit a 129-yard approach right near the cup for a virtual tap-in birdie that nearly sealed the win.
Koepka ranked among the best in the field in approach shots to the green at the U.S. Open.
“We can’t forget about the back nine he had on Friday, including birdieing four out of five holes. That was a huge difference that got him back in this championship,” Paul Azinger said on FOX. “And then today was all about nerves – who can feel the best soonest. And today that ended up being Brooks Koepka.”
No one on the PGA Tour has played as consistently as Koepka in recent Majors. Since the 2016 U.S. Open, he has finished no worse than 13th and owns Top six finishes at the 2016 PGA Championship (T4), the 2017 U.S. Open (first), the 2017 Open Championship (T6) and the 2018 U.S. Open.
In addition to Koepka’s big win, fellow Seminole Daniel Berger played in the final grouping on Sunday and tied for sixth overall at 6-over. Recently graduated Seminole Harry Ellis also completed the third and final leg of his Amateur run at the U.S. Open.