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's plural. They were on consecutive holes on the nine back to Shinnecock Hills.
The one who drove to birdie was memorable. The one that led to the normal was "by far the best shot."
It's like that at every big championship. Everyone remembers some signature shots, the one shown in brief recapitulations. And there is always a memorable blow for the player who may not get his due because it does not seem so significant at the time.
For all the magic offered by the Masters, nothing was too dramatic in Patrick Reed's 71 points 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 said. "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 reach the goal and put it into play, I now know that 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 this 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 hard it was to keep that green," he said. "And that happens with an iron. He finished itching 6 feet above the bunker and held it. I should have hit 8, but I was a little juice. "
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 a bogey in the last 37 holes. And even if there was nothing too spectacular, his talent was to be in the right position.
The decisive blow that allowed the Italian major to play was a 5-foot Barry Burn lob wedge for a birdie and a two-shot victory.
"I thought the peer would give me a chance. 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 sitting a little. I was trying to make a good contact and a little luck that it went as it should. "
But it is the normal of the 17th that he thinks he will win the tournament.
"An iron 2 in the wind is a lot 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 tee shot on the 16th day of the Bellerive Normal 4 was the best shot of the PGA Championship, but it was also the heart-stroke of all the majors 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 of the year. ;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 bogey on the 14th hole of the third lap when Koepka was injured under a tree and he was given a penalty of one shot to drive him away. 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 escape. I ran into such a bad corner. And to get it up and down, I was even impressed.