So was last week at Shinnecock Hills - where Kopeka, the champion, reinforced his elite credentials and Fleetwood showed he is not that far behind.
Not in the final round it wasn't, one day after the USGA conceded it lost a handle on the golf course. He made eight birdies - none on the two par-5s - and missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 63, only the sixth player in US Open history to go that low. "But he won on a classic, so he's an Open player". He got a good look at 17, too, ultimately missing from 20 feet, and put a charge into his tee shot down the center at the 18th. and then hit a high, towering draw directly at the flag, leaving himself inside 10 feet for birdie and 62 and plenty more. Two guys who began the day 11 shots behind Johnson. Defending champion: Brooks Koepka.
And while the burly American became a figure to be genuinely feared, Tommy Fleetwood emphasised that he is the Briton knocking most loudly for admittance to the major winners' club.
Koepka made five birdies, but it might have been the par at 14 that lifted him to his second consecutive U.S. Open.
In the second round, he shot a 66 to move into contention, but then had a 78 on Saturday. "I feel like you've got to take it from me, to be honest".
"We want the U.S. Open to be tough, but we saw some examples late in the day where well executed shots were not only not being rewarded, but in some cases penalised". Squaring off head-to-head against the game's best player, Koepka outplayed Johnson from the outset, going 3 under for the first 10 holes to open up a two-shot lead.
Right out of the gates, it became apparent that the 27-year-old Englishman was bound for something remarkable, rattling off four birdies in the first seven holes.
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In 2015 the USGA went to Chambers Bay, a raw, untried course with bad conditions and poor visibility for spectators.
Fowler tapped in for birdie on the 18th hole for a 5-under 65. "There's not much else to say". Johnson was a 9-1 favorite at Westgate entering the U.S. Open and was as high as -140 entering the weekend. Phil Mickelson tied for fourth and tied for second in his two previous U.S. Opens at Shinnecock Hills. That included a par on the 13th hole, where on Saturday he swatted a moving ball to keep it from rolling off the front of the green. This time he raised his arms in mock triumph.
Edwards, 30, now plays pro soccer in Sweden after playing for several teams in the US during her career. He chopped that up the slope with so much speed that it raced across the green and into the bunker.
In 2014 the Open was played on a Pinehurst No. 2 course that had undergone a peculiar renovation in which most of the rough was removed and a "crop scientist" replanted indigenous growth. "That's the difference between shooting 7-over and even par". "Whether I do or not I'm happy with the day".
The retired Brockton, Massachusetts firefighter will be spending the day at the U.S. Open, carrying the bag for his son, Matt, in the final round. Ken went to last year's Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, while it's Korey's first time. My game's in a good spot.
Both Parziales were firefighters as their real jobs.
It's easy to look at winning as the only thing that matters in a golf tournament. Vic is retired, but quickly found work as his son's caddie.