Fleetwood was a runner-up after tying the U.S. Open record with a final round seven-under 63 to finish just one shot back of Brooks Koepka. I feel for the USGA because I don't think that was their overall intent from the very beginning. It's really unfortunate, because in my opinion, some of the best land and certainly one of the best venues in all of golf, especially in this county, is Shinnecock Hills.
Brooks Koepka was practically the last name on anyone's lips at the 118th US Open on Thursday, but that didn't matter when he hoisted the trophy for a second straight year on Sunday.
Others chose more stark terms, like Zach Johnson, who said the course was "lost".
Dustin Johnson, part of the four-way tie for the lead to start the final round, couldn't keep up with one of his best friends. I was excited about it.
After one fan near the 8th green blurted out, "Nobody likes you, dude!" the response was tenfold, with a chorus of "Everyone loves you, Pat!" and "I love you Patrick!" drowning out the naysayer. I always felt like I had a chance. "We're both competitive. We both know we're trying to beat each other and trying to win a golf tournament, trying to win a major".
"It was a little slower than I thought".
Koepka said the two talked about the break of the green on No. 3 but otherwise didn't chat during the round. The others with a 63 at the U.S. Open are Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf in the first round in 1980 at Baltusrol; Vijay Singh in the second round in 2003 at Olympia Fields; and Justin Thomas a year ago in the third round at Erin Hills.
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"But that's the way it's supposed to be", he said. "It's easy to look at 16, 18 where I had chances, because that's essentially what it comes down to, but I made so many good putts today".
After admitting they went "too far" with their course set-up for round three, USGA officials had applied "appropriate levels" of water to the greens at Shinnecock Hills on Saturday night and Sunday morning, as well as selecting some more favourable pin positions.
Koepka's win snapped a streak of nine first-time major winners out of the previous 10 events and means Americans have won the last five majors. No one had taken a four-stroke lead into the weekend and failed to win since Tom McNamara suffered a heat stroke on the 68th hole in 1909.
Fleetwood was one shot behind when he finished, and Koepka still had 11 holes to play as Shinnecock Hills began to get crisp under another sunny sky.
He wasn't through. He hacked out of the hay over the green at No. 12, pitched beautifully to 7 feet, and made the par. He teed off nearly 2 1/2 hours before-and six strokes behind-third-round leaders Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger and Tony Finau on Sunday and soared up the leaderboard with four consecutive birdies on holes 12, 13, 14 and 15.
World number one Dustin Johnson shot a 70 to finish third on three over. Mickelson, who was assessed a two-stroke penalty but not disqualified for the violation, did not speak to reporters after his round.