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Brooks Koepka wins US Open, jumping in global rankings to 10th

Brooks Koepka wins US Open, jumping in global rankings to 10th

Posted June. 20, 2017 07:15,   

Updated June. 20, 2017 07:31

He failed to make the cut in the U.S. Open when he participated as an amateur golfer five years ago. In the early days after his debut in the professional golf league, he suffered from homesickness while travelling across Europe and Africa, far away from the U.S.

He finally pumped up his fist after winning the U.S. Open title, which took place in his motherland. “It is amazing that I was able to play on par with defending champions of the tournament. At last, I have earned true fame,” Brooks Koepka said with smiles, after winning a major PGA title for the first time in his career. “He rose to the stardom upon returning home after ending a challenging journey,” the Associated Press said. 

Koepka posted 16-under 272 overall to win the 117TH U.S. Open Championship, a major PGA tournament that ended at Erin Hills golf club (par 72) in Wisconsin on Sunday local time. Koepka, who thus garnered his second career win in the PGA Tour, pocketed 2.16 million U.S. dollars, the biggest purse money for him ever.

Koepka, who hails from Florida, started his professional career in Europe. “He eschewed the beaten path to the PGA Tour to play in Europe, where he thought he could improve his game, and his world ranking, more quickly,” The New York Times reported. Having started in the secondary league of the European Tour, he participated in minor tournaments in Kazakhstan, Kenya, and India to improve his skills and performance. He once won a title in Japan. According to the Associated Press, while he was the lone lead in a Scotland tournament, he expressed loneness, telling his agent, “I wish to return to the U.S.”

Koepka, a golfer who is ranked fifth (307.6 yards) in average flying distance of driver shots in the world, displayed his capacity to play long distance shots and regained stability in the latest event to clinch the title. When tying for first with Brian Harmon of the U.S., Koepka successfully played a 2.4-meter par putt at Hole 13 (par 3) in the final round to maintain the number of his strokes, before having successive birdies at Holes 14 through 16 to win the title.

Yun-Cheol Jeong trigger@donga.com