Brooks Koepka is the reigning 2017 US Open champion, and he's within striking distance of 36-hole leader (and 2016 US Open champion) Dustin Johnson heading into the weekend at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
While Koepka is in a great position to successfully defend his title and win back-to-back US Open trophies, the Florida State product is not only battling the world No. 1, but he's also fighting an uphill battle against history in a quest to win consecutive US Open titles.
The last player to win back-to-back US Open titles is Curtis Strange. He won the 1988 and 1989, first winning at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., with a one-stroke win on 6-under 278 after defeating Nick Faldo in an 18-hole playoff for the title.
In 1989, the US Open moved to Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., and Strange shot the same 278 total to win by a shot over Chip Beck, Mark McCumber and Ian Woosnam. Though Strange shot 278 in both years, his score at Oak Hill was 2 under par.
Before Strange won consecutive US Opens, the last player to do it was Ben Hogan. Hogan won the 1950 and 1951 US Open titles. Curiously, like Strange, Hogan won his back-to-back titles on the same total -- 7-over 287 -- too. Hogan's 1950 US Open win was at Merion Golf Club's East Course in Ardmore, Pa., beating Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio in an 18-hole playoff. The next year, Hogan beat Clayton Heafner by two strokes at Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit, Mich.
The only player to win three consecutive US Open titles is the Scot, Willie Anderson, who won four titles in a five-year span, including three in a row from 1903-1905.
Other back-to-back US Open winners:
- 1937 and 1938 -- Ralph Guldahl
- 1929 and 1930 -- Bobby Jones (a)
- 1911 and 1912 -- John McDermott
- 1903, 1904 and 1905 -- Willie Anderson