US Open notebook

Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas fall short in final round

Rickie Fowler hits a drive during the fourth round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
It was another disappointing major tournament for Rickie Fowler, who played well, but not well enough to win.

ERIN, Wisc. — Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas were two of the main attractions heading into Sunday’s final round of the US Open. Thomas entered the day one shot off the lead after shooting a US Open-record 9-under par Saturday, while Fowler has been in contention since Thursday and sat just two shots back.

But the pair, roommates this week, faltered Sunday to fall out of contention for their first major championships. Thomas followed up his 63 on Saturday with a 3-over 75 in the final round, shooting a 39 on the front and never gaining traction. He finished tied for ninth at 8-under.

And Fowler finished tied for fifth at 10-under after shooting even par Sunday, struggling with his approach shots and putts all day.


He missed a 4½-foot birdie putt on No. 2 that would have given him a share of the lead, missed a 6-foot par putt on No. 5, then three-putted for bogey on No. 15 to ruin any chance of a championship.

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Fowler’s week began with a flawless 7-under 65 but ended just like his previous 29 starts in a major — without a victory.

“If you look at the negatives too much, I mean, you’re going to be stuck doing that the whole time,” Fowler said. “You kind of have to say, ‘Hey, it’s a major. We played well this week.’ Even though the scores were somewhat lower than a normal US Open, but to finish in double digits, under par at a major championship, especially the Open, it was a good week.”

Getting it together

Jordan Spieth finally put it all together Sunday, in the toughest conditions of the weekend, no less.

Spieth, who shot 73-71-76 in his first three rounds, shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday while playing through 20- to 25-mile-per-hour winds.


“I think I hit 17 greens today, which was just awesome in these conditions,” said Spieth, the 2015 US Open champion. “Maybe a day like today is all it needed to just kind of calm down.”

Spieth, who will play at the Travelers Championship next week in Hartford, had his best putting day of the tournament (29 putts), though he still wasn’t exactly confident with the putter, carding a three-putt and missing several short ones.

“I feel really good about just about everything else,” Spieth said of his game. “I’ve just got to get on the greens and have that cup start to look a bit bigger.”

Amateur status

The low amateur was Scottie Scheffler, a junior from the University of Texas who finished the tournament at 1-under after shooting a 73 on Sunday. Cameron Champ, a junior from Texas A&M who was the only other amateur to make the cut, finshed at even par after shooting 76. Champ was the longest driver in the field all week, averaging 337.3 yards per drive . . . With the winds whipping around 20 miles per hour, the United States Golf Association moved up several tee boxes, laying the course out at 7,721 yards, the shortest layout of the week by 97 yards. But the par-3 ninth hole played at 172 yards, nearly 50 yards longer than on Saturday, and the par-5 18th played at 675 yards off the back tee . . . New England native Keegan Bradley shot a 77 to finish the tournament at 9-over, but he couldn’t help but crack a smile when a fan shouted to him, “Go Pats!” after he sunk a birdie putt . . . Hole No. 3, a par-4 that played between 484 and 516 yards, played as the hardest hole of the championship, with a scoring average of 4.286. The hole saw 23 birdies and 137 bogeys or worse. The easiest hole was No. 18, which had an average score of 4.843 with seven eagles, 136 birdies, and 66 bogeys or worse.

Ben Volin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin.