Record-equalling Fleetwood beaten by Koepka at US Open

American Brooks Koepka won the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills by four shots
US Open, fourth round
+1 B Koepka (US); +2 T Fleetwood (Eng); +3 D Johnson (US); +4 P Reed (US); +5 T Finau (US)
Selected others:+6 T Hatton (Eng), H Stenson (Swe); +7 J Rose (Eng); +8 R Knox (Sco), M Fitzpatrick (Eng); +10 P Casey (Eng); +12 I Poulter (Eng); +16 R Fisher (Eng); +18 A Johnston (Eng)

American Brooks Koepka defended his US Open title with a one-shot victory over England’s record-equalling Tommy Fleetwood at Shinnecock Hills.

Koepka closed with a two-under-par 68 to top the leaderboard at one over and deny Fleetwood a first major title.

Fleetwood had set the clubhouse lead at two over after a scintillating seven-under-par 63 – the equal lowest round in US Open history.

World number one Dustin Johnson shot a 70 to finish third on three over.

England’s Justin Rose, who began the day one shot off of a four-way tie for the lead, finished tied for 10th after a three-over 73.

Koepka, who claimed his first major at Erin Hills last year, became the first player to defend the US Open title since Curtis Strange won in 1988 and 1989.

Fantastic Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood is a four-time European Tour winner

Fleetwood, who eclipsed his fourth place at last year’s US Open, took full advantage of the favourable course set up for the final round.

The world number 12 became the sixth golfer to shoot 63 in the US Open – joining Justin Thomas, Vijay Singh, Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus – and was one short of matching the all-time major record of 62 set by Branden Grace in last year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Miller, in 1973, and Fleetwood are the only players to card a 63 in the tournament’s final round.

He holed eight birdies, including a superb run of four on the trot in the middle of the back nine, but missed an eight-foot birdie putt on the last.

Fleetwood then had to watch for more than two hours as the leaders completed their rounds.

“A 62 was more on my mind than where I was in the tournament coming down the last few holes,” said the 27-year-old from Southport. “It’s special to shoot a 63 at the US Open.

“I thought 62 after six or seven holes. I knew I had to shoot something good. Last night we said shoot the greatest score in a US Open and you’ll have a chance. It’s alright saying that but it never happens.”

Koepka’s injury comeback

Brooks Koepka is a two-time major champion, but he has only won only one event on the regular PGA Tour

Koepka equalled the US Open’s lowest winning score of 16 under last year but the 28-year-old has been limited by a wrist injury.

He missed The Masters at the start of April but returned later that month and played five events leading up to Shinnecock Hills.

The world number nine started his title defence with a five-over 75 and was seven over after four holes of round two.

But he recovered to post a four-under 66 before adding a 72 in round three to leave him tied for the lead with Johnson, Daniel Berger and Tony Finau.

But with playing conditions for the final round considerably more favourable than Saturday’s heavily criticised third round, Koepka was three under after five holes.

He escaped with just a bogey on the par-three 11th despite hitting his tee shot long and then chipping across the green into a bunker, holing a 12-foot bogey putt.

That kept the Floridian’s momentum going after a birdie on the 10th and four successive pars followed before another birdie on the par-five 16th took him to level par.

He had a two-shot lead heading up the last, allowing Koepka the luxury of a final-hole bogey.

More to follow.