Salem Radio Network News Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sports

Koepka reaches turn at U.S. Open with one-shot lead

By Steve Keating

ERIN, Wisconsin (Reuters) – Brooks Koepka was holding steady in buffeting winds, powering to a one-shot lead in the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday with nine holes to play.

The muscular American, who started the day one back of overnight leader Brian Harman, was on the charge out of the gate collecting birdies on the opening two holes at a windswept Erin Hills.

One of golf’s biggest hitters, Koepka also demonstrated he has a touch with the putter rolling in a monster 41-foot birdie putt at the eighth to reach the turn at three-under for the day and 14-under overall, in sight of his first major title.

Harman also dropped a big 29-foot putt for a birdie at the third but it was his only one on the front nine.

Rickie Fowler, urged on by the biggest galleries at Erin Hills, turned in a scrappy outward nine mixing two birdies with a bogey to sit three back of the leader.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama was battling his way into contention going four-under through 13 holes to sit four off the pace alongside Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.

After days of being humbled, Erin Hills turned nasty for the U.S. Open’s final round as heavy winds pummeled the links-style layout, adding an intriguing wrinkle to the year’s second major.

After turning in the best round ever at a U.S. Open, Justin Thomas was having one of the worst of the final round.

Thomas, who had six birdies on his outward nine on way to nine-under 63 on Saturday, found plenty of trouble on Sunday going three-over through the first nine to drop six off the lead.

(Editing by Andrew Both)

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