For Ricky Fowler and Justin Thomas, low numbers put their names in the U.S. Open record book but not on the trophy.
Fowler, whose opening 65 equaled the lowest score in relation to par in the first round of the U.S. Open, couldn’t make anything happen on Sunday, shooting a closing 72 to finish tied for fifth at 10-under par, six strokes behind Brooks Koepka.
“No real negatives. I wish I would have been able to give myself a few more looks out there and make a few more birdies,” Fowler said.
After birdie at No. 1 on Sunday, Fowler missed a short birdie putt at No. 2 and spent his day chasing the leaders. “I feel like golf-wise I’m playing at the highest level,” he said “If you look at the negatives too much you’re going to be stuck doing that the whole time.
“You have to measure success in different ways, not just by winning, just because that doesn’t happen a whole lot…You kind of have to say, ‘Hey, it’s a major.’ I did a lot of good things, especially in the first round. To finish double-digits under par at a major championship, especially the (U.S.) Open, it was a good week.”
One day after shooting 63 and becoming the first player in U.S. Open history to post a 9-under par run, Thomas went the other way, shooting a Sunday 75 that included three bogeys in his first five holes.
He made nine birdies and an eagle in his record-setting third round but Thomas managed just one birdie on Sunday.
“Any time you don’t win, it stings” Thomas said. “But if 12 or 13 under would have won, it would have hurt really bad. But knowing that I would have to shoot 5 under just to get in a playoff, that’s really, really good golfing out here.
“To be honest, it just sucks not to even have a chance on that back nine. To try to go out there and get a top five or trying to get neat the lead is not what I play for. But, unfortunately, that’s really all I was dealt so it’s what I had to try to do.”
Thomas said he knew it would be difficult to follow his Saturday 63 with another strong round and he never found a rhythm Sunday.
In the final pairing, Thomas didn’t start until nearly 3 p.m. Central time and struggled to adjust to the lat tee time.
“I would like to think that’s not why I played how I did today. I just didn’t play well,” Thomas said.
Republished with permission from Global Golf Post.