But there unusual was, standing on a sandy path leading to the clubhouse, ready to formally welcome Koepka into one of the most exclusive clubs in golf.
The 28-year-old American fired a two-under-par 68 and with a one-over par total he won by one shot from Tommy Fleetwood, whose 63 equalled the championship's lowest round.
'I suppose if I had the chance to go back I'd hit the putt a bit harder, because I knew what it was for in terms of history, ' said Fleetwood. "It's much more gratifying the second time". "It's truly special, and I'm so honored". Especially as it came on two completely different styles of course.
Previous year he was seen as a beneficiary of the benevolent Erin Hills set-up. Shinnecock Hills had tighter landing areas and tougher greens. They were going in from everywhere at this point, as he rolled in each 30ft putt he looked at. It would not have been possible without his 72 on Saturday in conditions so severe the last 45 players to tee off in the third round didn't break par. "This is incredible. I don't think I could've dreamed of this, going back-to-back. Or if it's even possible with a dry, windy day".
That being said, the USGA made the course more gettable after Saturday's fiasco.
That 62 would have moved him to one-over for the tournament, and into a tie with Koepka who hooked his shot into the 18th green into the grandstand and settled for a bogey and one-over finish.
But the prize went to Koepka, whose composure, confidence and competitiveness served him well.
"This ones a lot sweeter". He topped a tie for sixth by St. George native Jay Don Blake in the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in California. Koepka has played there once, finishing eighth in the PGA Tour event that uses three courses.
1 Koepka started playing golf when he was 10 years old following a vehicle crash that left him with facial injuries and meant he was banned from playing contact sports.
On the 11th hole, a diabolical par-3, his ugly shot pulled in the rough to the left of the green put him in a place where he couldn't even try to hit the green.
Finau was trying to become the first player with local ties to win a U.S. Open since ex-BYU golfer Johnny Miller won in 1973 at Oakmont, Pennsylvania.
"It feels so good to have this thing back in my hands", said Koepka, holding the U.S. Open trophy tightly near the 18th green as he was, ironically but appropriately, interviewed by unusual, now a Fox golf analyst. The elder Mr. Edwards just returned from a golf trip to the Dominican Republic, and he and his son said they enjoyed the action at Shinnecock both yesterday and today. We're extremely close. I love the guy to death. "I just keep doing what I'm doing, keep plugging away, kind of hide behind closed doors sometimes, which is nice, kind of the way I'd like to keep it", he said.
Jonathan Wall, Equipment Insider: In terms of golf history, I think it's very significant.
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