By Leeroy Francis Jr. |
Coming off his Masters championship, former Jaguar Patrick Reed finished in fourth place at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y., on Sunday June 17, flirting with the second leg of the Grand Slam.
To begin the day, Reed started three strokes off the four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard occupied by reigning U.S. Open Champion Brooks Koepka, world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, and the young American duo of Daniel Berger and Tony Finau.
Reed started his final round strong in absolutely treacherous conditions at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, but unfortunately could not continue the hot start in his final round to take the U.S. Open Championship Trophy. Reed made four birdies in his first five holes, five in his first seven and briefly grabbed a share of the lead.
After a four-under-par (31) on his front-nine, Reed made back-to-back bogeys on his 11th and 12th holes. Those bogeys killed his momentum heading down the final stretch.
But with a two-under 68 in the final round, he did finish in solo fourth place, an impressive showing especially since Reed came into the U.S. Open completely under the radar having only 40/1 odds at winning despite being the reigning Masters Champion and winner of the last major championship.
Reed, who was in the fourth-to-last grouping on Sunday, played well enough all week to put himself in contention late in the final round. Reed played the difficult Shinnecock Hills with great precision into the tough, fast and sloping greens, hitting 65 percent of his greens in regulation (47 of 72) which put him in a tie for 6th in the 150-man-field.
On the par-70, 7,431-yard course at Shinnecock, no player out of the 156-man field finished the tournament at par or better, which is why the U.S. Open is named the “ultimate test in golf” by the current players and past legends.
Brooks Koepka, the 28-year-old American, finished with a final round 2-under 68 to win the U.S. Open for the second consecutive year. Koepka, who finished one over par, vaulted up to fourth in the World Golf Rankings. Tommy Fleetwood finished second one shot back. Fleetwood finished with a 63 on Sunday. He had a nine-foot birdie putt on 18 that he just pushed wide to the right.
Last year Koepka won his first major championship at Erin Hills Golf Club in Erin, Wis. Koepka also became only the seventh player to capture the U.S. Open title in consecutive years and the first repeat champion in 29 years joining Willie Anderson in 1903-05, John McDermott in 1911-12, Bobby Jones (a) in 1929-30, Ralph Guldahl in 1937-38, Ben Hogan in 1950-51 and most recently Curtis Strange in 1988-89.
The 2018 Open will be remember for the tough conditions. Masters runner-up Rickie Fowler, in contention after the first two rounds, shot an 84 on Saturday. Phil Mickelson, who still has not won the U.S. Open, actually hit a moving ball on Saturday. Rory McIlroy shot an even-par 70 on Friday, but still did not make the cut. Tiger Woods, the 14-time major winner, failed to make the cut as well.
The next U.S. Open Championship will be held at Pebble Beach Golf Club in Pebble Beach, Calif., June 13-16, 2019.