HONOLULU (Swing Update) – Brooks Koepka still smiles in memory of the 9 fours he hit in the final round of his second straight win of the American Open.
Yes, it is plural. They were on consecutive holes on the nine back to Shinnecock Hills.
The one who drove to birdie was memorable. The one who led the peer was "by far the best shot."
It's like that at every big league. Everyone remembers some signature shots, the one shown in brief recapitulations. And there is always a shot that is memorable for the player and that might not have his due because it does not seem so significant at the time.
For all the magic offered by the Masters, nothing was too dramatic for Patrick Reed, 71, for a one-shot victory. He made two birdies on the back nine, and the one that stood out was his 20-foot-12 bird parade that allowed him to take control.
"It was a soft iron," he says. "When I did that putt, it was when I thought I could play at par and I could win the tournament."
The shot that struck him was Thursday, a kick through the falling trees leading to the fairway. Regardless, he put his approach in the bunker and had to scramble to save the normal of a 69, leaving him three shots for him.
"This hole has always made it difficult to hit the fairway," he said. "To hit the ball and put it into play, now I know it's a blow that I could hit all week."
And he did it on Sunday, leading to a win of two strokes and a shot.
Koepka had a double, no margin of error in the final, because Tommy Fleetwood had scored his 63rd goal and a double to 282. The defending champion had already made two saves of 8 feet and really had a bird. chance left. It was 16 par-5, and no case with a lapel pin. The suggested distance tangent. Koepka had other ideas.
Koepka decided to fly with a 9 iron mass and checked about 3 feet after the hole for a birdie and a two-shot lead.
"It was good to have that extra cushion," he said.
He felt that he needed it considering the position of the pin at the 17th Par-3, which he described as a landing area 12 feet wide and 12 feet deep. . He thought of an 8 iron before taking adrenaline into account.
"I do not think people realize how difficult it is to keep that green," he said. "And it comes with a new iron.I ended up itching 6 feet above the bunker and kept it, I should have hit 8, but I was a little in a hurry. "
When he will donate a club to the USGA, it will likely be a new iron.
"The 16th was more memorable for everyone," he said. "But 17 was by far the best shot."
Nobody was more stable than Francesco Molinari on a last wild day at Carnoustie at the British Open. He has not made any bogey during the last 37 holes. And even if there was nothing too spectacular, his talent was to be in the right position.
The shot that allowed the first Italian major to win was a lob wedge on the Barry Burn 5 feet for a birdie and a two-shot win.
"I thought the pair would give me a chance, and if I could get closer and drill the putt it would be more likely," he said of the victory. "In fact, the lie was not great – it was a little seated – I was trying to make a good contact and a little luck that it was done properly."
But it is the normal of the 17th that he thinks he will win the tournament.
"An iron 2 facing the wind is much harder than a lob wedge," Molinari said.
The memory of a double bogey on the 17th hole of the second lap from the same place was even more difficult, a shot that barely missed the green and blocked the bunker. He had about 217 yards for his second shot in the last inning.
"He came out just beautiful," he said. "These last two holes, every shot is very important."
Koepka's starting shot on the 16th day of the Bellerive Normal 4 competition was the best shot of the PGA Championship, it was undoubtedly the favorite of all the majors in the world. ;last year. He hit a 248-yard iron – "a laser shot," he called – about 7 feet under the hole for a birdie and the cushion he needed to win his second major. l & # 39; year.
"Probably one of the best shots I've ever hit under pressure," Koepka said.
The nine back produced another blow that he deemed important. It was Saturday, around the time Koepka started losing ground on a course that produced the lowest score ever recorded in major.
He was coming out of a boguey at the 14th hole of the third lap when Koepka was injured under a tree and he was given a penalty of one shot to keep him off. From there, he started from the green, with a pin on the left side. He got up and did bogey.
"It could have been a disaster," Koepka said. "It was a momentum … I do not want oil to get in. I ran into such a bad corner, and to get it up and down, I'm not sure. I was impressed myself. "