Hours before he headed out to Shinnecock Hills to defend his U.S. Open title in the final round Sunday, Brooks Koepka and his buddies had a bench-pressing contest at a local gym.
“He put up 225 [pounds] 14 times on a Sunday; that’s pretty impressive,” said high school pal Dan Gambill. “I was like, `What are you, nuts?’ We had a bet. His trainer said he couldn’t do 15, and he fell short on the 15th.”
No matter. Koepka made up for it. At the end of the day, he hoisted the 8.5-pound U.S. Open trophy after shooting a two-under-par 68 to beat Tommy Fleetwood by a stroke and become the seventh player to win the storied championship in back-to-back years.
“Probably couldn’t have dreamed of it in my wildest dreams,” said Koepka, 28, the tournament’s first repeat winner since Curtis Strange in 1989. “I’m at a loss for words right now, but it’s really incredible.”
Koepka held off his good friend and closing-round playing partner, Dustin Johnson, who had a commanding four-stroke lead after two rounds before stumbling Saturday and shooting even par Sunday. Johnson finished third at three over.