TEEBOX

Brooks Koepka claims first Ma­jor vic­tory

Golf Asia - - CONTENTS - IM­AGES © ROLEX / CHRIS TURVEY

• The 117th U.S. Open Cham­pi­onship

• Alex Noren Storms To Vic­tory At Went­worth

Brooks Koepka’s first Ma­jor vic­tory at the 117th U.S. Open Cham­pi­onship, held at Erin Hills in Wis­con­sin fol­lows an un­for­get­table fi­nal day per­for­mance en­route to be­com­ing the 2017 U.S. Open Cham­pion. In achiev­ing this land­mark vic­tory, the 27-year-old joins an exclusive list of golfers to have won the pres­ti­gious Ma­jor cham­pi­onship. Orig­i­nat­ing in 1895, the tour­na­ment has been won by the game’s undis­puted greats, and fel­low Rolex Tes­ti­monees in­clud­ing Arnold Palmer, Jack Nick­laus and Gary Player, oth­er­wise known as golf’s “Big Three”.

The most re­cent Rolex Tes­ti­monees to have tasted U.S. Open vic­tory in­clude South African Retief Goosen and Tiger Woods, who claimed three U.S. Open ti­tles be­tween them, as well Martin Kaymer and Jor­dan Spi­eth, whose suc­cesses came in 2014 and 2015, re­spec­tively.

Com­menc­ing the fi­nal day’s play 11-un­der-par along­side fel­low Tes­ti­monee Justin Thomas, one shot be­hind the leader, Koepka made a fast start with birdies on the first and sec­ond holes, be­fore hol­ing a 30-foot putt on the eighth, to move to -14 and claim the out­right lead.

Af­ter the turn, fol­low­ing a dropped

shot on the chal­leng­ing 10th hole Koepka showed his class and calm­ness un­der pres­sure by scor­ing three birdies in a row on holes 14, 15 and 16, mov­ing to a to­tal of 16-un­der-par – equalling the U.S. Open low-scor­ing record – and ex­tend­ing his lead to four.

Fol­low­ing his fi­nal round, Brooks Koepka said, “It feels amaz­ing to get my name on this tro­phy with so many other great names. It’s truly an hon­our. It hasn’t even sunk in but I think it will be spe­cial. I want to see my fam­ily and be with them, and to spend time with ev­ery­one who’s played a part in help­ing me win this.”

The Rolex New Guard

The Amer­i­can who has won on both the Euro­pean Tour and PGA TOUR, and is taught by Rolex Tes­ti­monee and cel­e­brated golf coach Claude Har­mon III, was crowned the 117th U.S. Open Cham­pion. There were many other no­table per­for­mances by the Rolex New Guard – a new gen­er­a­tion of golfers who want to as­sert their author­ity on the sport, and in­spire fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of play­ers to fol­low them.

Speak­ing about his peers, and fel­low Rolex Tes­ti­monees, in­clud­ing Rickie Fowler, Hideki Mat­suyama and Justin Thomas, Koepka said, “Those guys are go­ing to win lots of Ma­jors, they’re go­ing to win mul­ti­ple times, and have un­be­liev­able ca­reers. I think the younger gen­er­a­tion that’s com­ing up right now is re­ally im­pres­sive, if you look at the top of the leader­board, it’s so im­pres­sive, and it’s get­ting that much harder to win.”

Fol­low­ing rounds of 74, 65 and 71, 25-year-old Hideki Mat­suyama of Ja­pan shot a ral­ly­ing fi­nal round of 66 – the low­est round of the day – to fin­ish tied for sec­ond place.

In the third round, 24-year-old Justin Thomas from Ken­tucky, USA, scored 63 – equalling the low­est ever round scored in a U.S. Open, and set­ting a new Cham­pi­onship record for the low­est ever score in-re­la­tion-to-par at nine-un­der. With a fi­nal to­tal of eight un­der par, Thomas fin­ished tied in eighth place.

The 28-year-old Rolex Tes­ti­monee Rickie Fowler, from Cal­i­for­nia, USA, led the tour­na­ment af­ter the first round, hav­ing matched the U.S. Open scor­ing record to par for the open­ing round with a 7-un­der 65. Threat­en­ing the leader­board for the du­ra­tion of the Cham­pi­onship, Fowler fin­ished with a solid level par round to tie for fifth place.

Rolex Direc­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion & Im­age, Ar­naud Boetsch, said, “Rolex would like to con­grat­u­late Brooks Koepka on his out­stand­ing first vic­tory in the pres­ti­gious U.S. Open Cham­pi­onship. Koepka has been part of the Rolex fam­ily since 2015 and this ex­cep­tional achieve­ment re­flects his stead­fast com­mit­ment to ex­cel­lence and su­pe­rior per­for­mance.”

The 2017 U .S. Open Cham­pion and Rolex Tes­ti­monee, Brooks Koepka with The U.S. Open Cham­pi­onship Tro­phy

Rolex Tes­ti­monee Rickie Fowler

Rolex Tes­ti­monee Hideki Mat­suyama

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