Koepka Wins Wild 2018 US Open
Brooks Koepka won the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills, Southhampton, NY. With the win, Koepka becomes the third player since World War II to defend the US Open title (7th overall,) and the first since Curtis Strange in 1989.
Koepka’s score of +1, 281 secured a one stroke lead over Tommy Fleetwood. Fleetwood (+2, 282,) became the 6th player in tournament history to shoot 63 in a round, narrowly missing a putt on 18 to become the first to ever shoot 62.
Despite the low round by Fleetwood, the 2018 edition of the US Open will be remembered for the difficulty of the course. During Round 3 action Saturday, what looked to be a standard day on the course soon became a nightmare as morning faded to afternoon.
In short order, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson were cited for slow play, while Phil Mickelson made waves by playing a live ball. When asked to respond after the round, Zach Johnson quipped that the USGA had “lost the golf course.”
In a manner any GLT disciple could appreciate, Koepka maintained his focus and didn’t let the adverse conditions on course affect his mental performance.
“He’s just a real strong mental guy, he’s unflappable,” said caddy Ricky Elliott. “When he hits a bad shot, he never gives me any grief. He gets on with it. I mean, to this day, if we hit one over the back (of the green,) he’d probably just turn to me and go, “Well, I hit that quite a bit hard.” Which is unusual for a good athlete or player. He takes a huge responsibility in what he’s doing out there. Makes my job very easy.”
While Elliott may see Koepka’s mental strength as a rarity in good athletes, at GLT Golf, we see it as the embodiment of one of our core points of emphasis. While good athletes may struggle to remain composed when all isn’t going according to design, elite athletes have developed the focus to remain in the moment, paying attention only to the task at hand.