Brooks Koepka Defends US Open Title, Pal Dustin Johnson Still Favored for The Open

Posted on: June 18, 2018, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: June 18, 2018, 08:07h.

Brooks Koepka has only won three times on the PGA Tour, but with two being major championships, the 28-year-old already has a resume that might one day put him in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Brooks Koepka US Open golf
Moving day went in the wrong way for Dustin Johnson on Saturday, allowing Brooks Koepka to win the 118th US Open. (Image: Ross Kinniard/Getty/Julio Cortez/AP/

Thanks in part to his good friend and gym partner Dustin Johnson’s 7-over 77 on Saturday, Koepka entered the final round of the US Open in a four-way tie for the lead at +3. Of the four at the top (Johnson, Tony Finau, and Daniel Berger), Koepka shot the best round on Sunday round with a 2-under 68.

Despite a historic 63 by Tommy Fleetwood to finish at +2, Koepka finished one better to win his second straight US Open.

I can really appreciate how hard it is to win a major, and to win back-to-back is special, and my second major is cool,” Koepka said Sunday evening.

Koepka becomes just the seventh player to win back-to-back US Opens. The others are Willie Anderson, John McDermott, Bobby Jones, Ralph Guldahl, Ben Hogan, and Curtis Strange. All but McDermott are in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Brooks Keeps Them Guessing

The US Open odds favored Johnson heading into the week. DJ was at 8/1 prior to Thursday’s first round. A slew of other names closely followed including Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, and Rickie Fowler (14/1), and fan favorites Tiger Woods (20/1) and Phil Mickelson (25/1).

Koepka, who spent much of the year outside the ropes recovering from a torn tendon in his left wrist, wasn’t expected to be in his 2017 US Open form when he won by four strokes at Erin Hills.

The Westgate SuperBook had Brooks at 40/1 when the casino opened its US Open odds in April.

Koepka was at 25/1 before the first round, but after a 5-over 75, the line lengthened to 80/1. A 4-under 66 on Friday put him back in contention, and the sportsbooks slashed his odds to 14/1. Heading into Sunday, he was at 7/2.

The SuperBook reports that the most money wagered was on Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Woods, Rose, and Mickelson.

Open Odds

Koepka will once again head to The Open next month as the reigning US Open champion, but he won’t be the favorite, again.

Early odds for Carnoustie have Johnson with the shortest line at 12/1. McIlroy and Spieth, respectively the 2014 and 2017 Open winners, are next at 14/1.

Fowler, Thomas, and Rose are at 16/1, and then it’s Koepka and Fleetwood at 20/1. Koepka’s 20/1 line might be attractive to some bettors. Of his four Open appearances, Brooks has made the cut three times, and has two top-10 finishes.

Two-time Open winner Padraig Harrington, who won the last time the major was held at Carnoustie in 2007, is long at 150/1.

Tiger is at 25/1, and Lefty opens at 40/1. Mickelson continues to receive criticism for intentionally hitting his ball while it was still moving on the 13th hold during Saturday’s third round. Wife Amy said her husband is “a good man who had a bad moment.”