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The 148th Open Royal Portrush

Brooks for the books


Koepka's historic year in majors comes to a close

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka will leave Royal Portrush disappointed with his finish at The Open. A nice consolation prize is his historic year in all four majors.

By Bailey Mosier

Anything less than a first-place finish in a major championship feels like a letdown for Brooks Koepka. That's the standard he's set for himself.

After a third-round 67 that left him seven shots off the lead, paired with a gloom-and-doom weather forecast for Sunday's final round, Koepka knew the Claret Jug was still within his grasp.

Instead, he struggled out of the gate on Sunday. He made four consecutive bogeys to open his round; for perspective, he had made only three bogeys in his first 54 holes at Royal Portrush.

"If you don't play good you're not going to win," Koepka said. "It's disappointing, yes. I didn't play the way I wanted to. And I've got to live with that."

On the live NBC telecast, lead play-by-play host Dan Hicks joked that Koepka just couldn't handle the major championship pressure. Obviously taken tongue in cheek, because the tag line on Koepka for the last 2 1/2 years is that he only shows up when it matters most. Look no further than his PGA Tour win total as evidence: four of his six victories are major championships.

While Koepka couldn't close out the decade with a fifth major - and make it four in a row for Americans - it was still a remarkable 2019.

Koepka shot 74 in the final round to finish T-4. The three previous finishes in the majors this year were 2-1-2 (Masters, PGA Championship and U.S.. Open, respectively).

Thus, Koepka becomes just the fourth player in history to finish in the top 5 in all four majors in a single year. Others include: Jack Nicklaus (1971, 1973), Tiger Woods (2000, 2005), Rickie Fowler (2014) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

"As a whole it's awesome. That's what I'm striving to do, play well in the big events. And I sort of did that. This week is disappointing, but the rest of them have been - it's been great. I'm not going to lie. It's been fun. I would have liked to have just made a few more [birdies] and finished it off with a bunch of second places."