Brooks Koepka’s British Open frustration goes past his play


PORTRUSH, Northern Eire — Brooks Koepka has had a whole lot of memorable experiences throughout his outstanding run up to now 10 main championships, successful 4 of them alongside the way in which.

Sunday’s closing spherical of the British Open wasn’t one in every of them.

Koepka, who completed tied for fourth, shot a final-round 74 and he did it whereas taking part in alongside J.B. Holmes, one of many notoriously slowest gamers within the sport. Holmes, who had a share of the 36-hole lead, posted a surprising final-round 87.

At one level, Koepka, clearly pissed off with Holmes’ tempo of play, checked out a match official and pointed to his wrist, as if he had a watch on it.

“Yeah, I imply, there have been some instances the place I believed it was sluggish,” Koepka mentioned. “There’s a whole lot of sluggish guys out right here. What I don’t perceive when it’s your flip to hit, your glove isn’t on, you then begin occupied with it, that’s the place the issue lies. It’s not that [Holmes] takes that lengthy. He doesn’t do something till his flip. That’s the irritating half. However he’s not the one one which does it out right here.

“I imply, [Holmes] had a tough day. However J.B. is a sluggish participant. I do know it’s troublesome with the wind, however I didn’t assume he was that dangerous right this moment. I believed he was all proper. The European Tour does an unbelievable job with the tempo of play, posting it within the locker rooms. The PGA [Tour] doesn’t try this.’’

With top-five finishes in all 4 majors this yr, Koepka turned simply the fifth golfer to perform the feat, becoming a member of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth.

That, nevertheless, was of little comfort to him.

“It was an ideal run for 3 [of the majors], after which this one, nothing you might do,” Koepka mentioned. “As an entire, it’s superior. That’s what I’m striving to do, play nicely within the large occasions. And I kind of did that. This week is disappointing, however the remainder of them have been nice. I’m not going to lie: I might have appreciated to have simply made just a few extra [putts] and completed it off with a bunch of second locations.”

For Lee Westwood, who completed tied for fourth, this was his 19th prime 10 in a significant championship. Just one participant has extra prime 10s with out a win in majors — Ed Dudley, who was born in 1901 and had 24. Harry Cooper, who was born in 1904, had 19.

Westwood, at age 46, was making an attempt to develop into the oldest Open champion since Previous Tom Morris in 1867.

Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood (r.) kisses his caddy and girlfriend Helen Storey after finishing the ultimate spherical of the British Open.AFP/Getty Photographs

On the plus aspect, his tie for fourth will get Westwood into the 2020 Masters, which he’s missed the previous couple of years as a result of he hasn’t certified.

“It could be good to play Augusta once more,’’ he mentioned. “I’ve missed it the final couple of years. Augusta is a really particular place. I’ve performed nice there up to now; I had an opportunity to win it. I really feel like I can get round there.’’

This marked the 11th time up to now 16 years a participant has led a significant by 4 or extra pictures coming into the ultimate spherical, and 7 of 10 went on to win. One in all them who didn’t was Shane Lowry within the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont, the place he misplaced a four-shot result in winner Dustin Johnson.

Since 1900, 26 gamers have entered the ultimate spherical of the Open with a lead of 4 or extra pictures and 23 have gone on to win.