By 19th Hole Staff | June 20, 2018
At the legendary Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17, Brooks Koepka claimed an unforgettable victory at the 118th U.S. Open, in a successful title defense following his win in 2017, ensuring his name will not only be etched on the trophy forever, but also into the history of this inimitable championship.
Nestled in the luxurious surroundings of the Hamptons in New York state, the prestigious Shinnecock Hills Golf Club upheld the U.S. Open tradition of rewarding extreme accuracy, and after four rounds of competitive golf on the challenging 7,448-yard layout, Koepka’s final score of one-over-par, gave him a one-shot victory in the second men’s Major of the year, for which Rolex has been the Official Timekeeper since 1980.
Koepka becomes just the second golfer to successfully defend the U.S. Open in the modern era, following in the footsteps of fellow Rolex Testimonee Curtis Strange, who’s second victory was also made in the Empire State, 29 years ago.
With this historic win, Koepka is now part of an elite group of Rolex Testimonees in addition to Curtis Strange, to have recorded multiple U.S. Open wins, including four-time winner Jack Nicklaus, three-time champion Tiger Woods and two-time U.S. Open victor, Retief Goosen.
With rounds of 75, 66 and 72, the 28-year-old Floridian co-led the tournament going in to the final round, and displaying continued precision, discipline and determination, scored five birdies in a final round of 68.
Following his final round, Brooks Koepka, said: “It’s incredible. I’ve looked at all these names a million times and to have my name on this trophy is very special. I’m truly honored to go back-to-back.”
Having co-led at the 54-hole stage, fellow Testimonee Daniel Berger ended the tournament tied sixth, recording his second career top-10 in a Major.
For winning the 118th U.S. Open, Brooks Koepka earned the following:
- The Jack Nicklaus Medal
- Custody of the U.S. Open Trophy for one year
- Exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Open Championships
- A check for $2.1 million (largest in golf)
- Exemptions into the next five Masters
- Exemptions into the next five Open Championships conducted by The R&A
- Exemptions into the next five PGA Championships
Rolex Testimonee U.S. Open Champions:
- Arnold Palmer (1960)
- Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980)
- Gary Player (1965)
- Tom Watson (1982)
- Curtis Strange (1988, 1989)
- Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008)
- Retief Goosen (2001, 2004)
- Martin Kaymer (2014)
- Jordan Spieth (2015)
- Brooks Koepka (2017, 2018)
SOURCE: Rolex and USGA