Koepka's winning total of 16-under equals the lowest score to par for a U.S. Open, matching Rory McIlroy's victory at Congressional in 2011. At this year's Masters, he entered the final round trailing by one but shot a 76 and was far from the drama between Garcia and Justin Rose. And they plenty of company.
And the 26-year-old from Southport, who finished a shot ahead of world number one Dustin Johnson to claim his second European Tour title in Abu Dhabi in January, paid tribute to Finnis. "Hopefully, though, in the future, in majors, I can play in the either last or next to last group to give myself a better chance".
7 Players finished 10 under or better; before this year, that would have won all but two U.S. Opens. Every major these days is a maiden race. He only shot 75, with just one birdie. "Struck it well, hit a bunch of greens, and that's what you've got to do to play well around here".
No one took advantage like Fowler. Thomas was already on course for a share of the lead as he stepped up to the 18th having carded nine birdies against two bogeys in a spectacular round. He kept it in the short grass, the secret to Erin Hills that wouldn't appear to be that hard with some of the widest fairways for this major.
"I wish I'd have gotten up and down on 18, I know that", he said. And then 4, my ball was three inches from the hole, and it completely stopped and rolled back four and a half feet.
So mammoth, mysterious Erin Hills, just 11 years old and basically unfamiliar to all 156 players who came to Wisconsin for the 117th edition of the U.S. Open, wasn't going to rattle the muscular Floridian, no matter how much fescue, distance and sharp edges the course can dish out.
"It is always cool to be part of some sort of history in golf", Fowler said. I remember coming there on Sunday the week before.
NOTES: Scottie Scheffler, who plays collegiately for the University of Texas, was the top amateur finisher at 287 for the tournament with a Sunday round of 73. For most others, it was being careless off the tee and facing the rigorous test of recovering. Yikes. Seventy-two holes, no double bogeys. I played there in '04 but I didn't make the cut, so when it got insane I wasn't there.
It didn't quite happen for Rickie Fowler today, who birdied the first but then missed from five feet at the second. But the low scoring went much deeper than that. The pilot, the only one aboard the blimp operated by Florida-based AirSign, was being treated for injuries.More news: 58 people missing and presumed dead in London fire
"I literally scoffed at the 16 under, because I said that would tie a record". Only an exceedingly strong golfer could shoot 67 in those conditions, on a hilly course with about a mile of green-to-tee walking.
Brooks Koepka was exhausted of being called an underachiever.
However, Harman eventually stumbled with back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13 and his rival found peak form at the flawless moment - birdieing three holes in a row from the 14th to all but wrap up the tournament.
So bring on Shinnecock Hills, Pebble Beach, Winged Foot, and Torrey Pines - traditional layouts with traditional challenges - for the next four U.S. Opens, and let the carnage unfold once again.
Nonetheless, the birdie that started the string of three straight did wonders for Koepka's confidence.
I hit such a good putt on 2.
The two-time PGA Tour victor, and former Georgia star, showed a lot of heart while battling long hitters on a monstrous course.
Curtis Strange, a victor of two U.S. Opens, on different courses in a different era, told the new victor, "You don't know it, but your life has changed overnight".
Still to be determined is what kind of test Erin Hills can present the rest of the week, especially with more rain on the way Friday and Saturday afternoon.