US Open runner-up Brooks Koepka OK with missing out for once
Brooks Koepka came very close to winning his third straight US Open title at Pebble Beach on Sunday, but he had to give credit to Gary Woodland for holding him off.
The World No 1 has been a destructive force in major championships in recent years, winning four of the last eight, including two straight US Opens.
And after bursting out of the gate with a string of birdies on Sunday it seemed like he was destined for yet another.
But Koepka’s challenge would falter on the back nine as Gary Woodland responded with impressive birdies at 14 and 18 to hold the defending champion off.
“It wasn’t meant to be this week,” said Koepka, who ultimately closed with a three-under-par 68 to finish three strokes behind the champion.
“It was awesome to come this close to going three in a row.
“I didn’t really think about it until I was done on 18 and realised how close I actually was to, not making history, but kind of tying it, I guess you could say.
“It doesn’t sting. I played great. I gave it my all and sometimes, like this week, it’s not meant to be. And sometimes no matter how good your good is, it isn’t (enough).”
Faced with a nine-footer for birdie at the 18th, Koepka had an outside chance of still forcing a play-off if he could hole it, but it missed by mere millimetres to bring his challenge to an end.
As it turned out, Woodland would hole a 30-footer for birdie at the last to render that putt a moot point, but it certainly would have hurt Koepka at the time.
“I felt like I had a good read on it and it just dove right across the front,” said Koepka, who was quick to give credit to Woodland for his performance.
“Hat’s off to him. He deserves it, he’s worked hard and I’m very happy for him.”
Koepka will have once more chance to add to his bulging major trophy cabinet in next month’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
“I’ve never been to Ireland, but my caddie (Ricky Elliott), it’s his hometown, so I’m looking forward to it,” he added.
More from GOLF365:
- Justin Rose proud to have contended without his A-game at US Open
- Remember Amy Bockerstette? She was Gary Woodland’s biggest fan on Sunday
- Gary Woodland holds off Brooks Koepka to clinch famous US Open victory
- Brooke Henderson, 21, wins ninth LPGA title in Michigan
A nice birdie-fest – Tiger Woods expecting low scoring Hero World Challenge
Woods withdrew on Monday due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
Adam Scott relishing chance to experience a career first at the Australian Open
The tournament sees men, women and golfers with disabilities competing on the same course at the same time.
Tiger Woods backs up Rory McIlroy and says LIV Golf boss Greg Norman ‘has to go’
Woods called McIlroy a ‘true leader’ as he spoke out about the Saudi-funded breakaway.
Tiger Woods withdraws from Hero World Challenge due to foot problem
The former world number one has not played since the Open Championship in July.
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.