Brooks Koepka held his nerve to retain the US Open title but Ralph Ellis says runner-up Tommy Fleetwood is ready for his own Major breakthrough.
"He’s [21.0] for The Open at Carnoustie and there are good reasons to think that’s a bet worth taking, not least that he holds the course record with the 63 he shot in last year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Here's a confession. Phil Mickelson wasn't the only man guilty of unsporting behaviour at the US Open. Back on my sofa I was being a bad person too.
Ok, not quite the shocking bit of cheating that Lefty produced. Why didn't the USGA have the guts to disqualify him rather than leave a can of worms opened for anybody else who wants to run after their moving ball and take a two shot penalty?
No, my crime was just to curse when Brooks Koepka got himself out of trouble on the 11th, escaping with a bogey when he could quite easily have gone two, three or more over. I know I should have applauded a great escape shot, but it was then I realised Tommy Fleetwood probably wasn't going to be the US Open Champion.
I'd only had a couple of quid on him actually to win the thing (albeit at [80.0]), although I had backed him heavily for a both a top 10 and top 20 finish alongside my main picks Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.
But I just so enjoyed the way he tackled the horrendous conditions on Saturday and then was so positive when he attacked the course on Sunday morning to set his brilliant clubhouse target.
A consistent upward curve
It's funny how Fleetwood's image, with his long hair, bright personality and Northern accent, means he still doesn't get taken all that seriously as a proper golfer. He seems to be treated as a bit of an outsider.
But when you look at his record this season and particularly his performances in the two Majors there's no doubt he's improving continually. His career path shows a consistent upward curve and he's building on the times he's come close rather than letting the near misses destroy him.
He's [21.0] for The Open at Carnoustie and there are good reasons to think that's a bet worth taking, not least that he holds the course record with the 63 he shot in last year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
He learned so much from last year's Open, when he couldn't handle the first day pressure of being the local favourite at Birkdale.
He's entered the world's top 10
Now he has so much more maturity, as he proved at Shinnecock Hills showing he could ignore outside distractions, be it the weather, one bad shot or hole, or the crowd. There are few who strike the ball better, either.
His second place has lifted him into the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings, after finishing last year 17th, and there must be a few places to climb still.
This week he is due to play the BMW International Open in Germany. He's [6.4] favourite in the early market of a tournament without too many other star names, and it will be interesting to see how well he focuses after coming down from his New York cloud.
Win or lose there's then time to prepare properly for Carnoustie. Rory McIlroy is [14.0] favourite which seems odd after failing to make the cut last week. Dustin Johnson at [14.5] must be a bigger threat while Jordan Spieth at [17.5] doesn't have the form to justify being third favourite.
Fleetwood, though, seems to be emerging as one of those players you can rely on. I hope I can settle for just cheering him at Carnoustie rather than cursing his rivals.