Koepka wins first major championship at US Open


Brooks Koepka kisses the winning trophy after the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

Harman, playing in the final pairing immediately behind Koepka, then rolled in a 29-foot birdie putt on the third to join Koepka at the top of the leaderboard.

Koepka won the U.S. Open by four shots, closing with a five-under 67 at Erin Hills to triumph with a record-tying 16-under total, reaching the pinnacle of a professional journey that began five years ago on Europe's secondary Challenge Tour.

It wasn't easy, but it didn't look all that hard. It was the last mistake he would make. The venue, Erin Hills, a resort course in the heart of the American dairyland, is a par-72.

Justin Thomas was unable to sustain momentum after carding a 9-under 63 Saturday, the best round in relation to par at a U.S. Open.

HAIL THE KING: The 18th hole at Erin Hills had a special flag for the final round of the U.S. Open.

Koepka played it perfectly after the hiccup on No. 10.

This really could have been his U.S. Open.

"It was nice to finish with some good swings", he said following an even-par 72 that left him at 10 under for the week and six strokes back of victor Brooks Koepka. One more good shot. Check and check As we have a new U.S. open champion.

It was an odd U.S. Open in this sense.

Harman's bogey on the par-4 12th put Koepka ahead to stay.

"Yeah, I've never been a big, big man in any sport I've played", he said.

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Matsuyama shot a six under for the day with eight birdies and two bogeys. When the wind picked up Sunday, Ernie Els thought of another major championship. When he pushed a 30-foot birdie try on No. 12 a full 12 feet past the hole, he set himself up for bogey. A birdie there and that basically sealed the deal.

"That's awesome", Koepka said. "That pin is hanging off the back and into the wind".

"So to feel as confident as I did on a Sunday of a major and coming down the stretch was pretty neat". "He's so unflappable, he could nearly do with a little bit of a kick in the ass because sometimes it's like, 'Are you awake yet?' But despite his mean face he's as calm as it gets".

England's Tommy Fleetwood was alone in fourth place on 11 under after a level-par final round of 72. "He wasn't missing shots".

"I learned a lot this week", he said.

"If you look at the negatives too much, you're going to be stuck doing that the whole time", Fowler said. "I think Brooks went out and won the tournament". I just didn't play well. The towering, overpowering American didn't miss a damn spot the entire week.

Players were delighted in the sticker-shock tone of the tournament, saying it was playing more like a regular PGA Tour event where birdies are plentiful. Then he finished top five in both. Koepka hitting 49 of 56 fairways is not a good permutation for everyone else involved. "I think he'll even smile", Koepka's caddie Ricky Elliott said. "The ball-striking was pretty solid". It had to be today, especially with the wind. They were obviously a little bit lower, but it does not matter what golf course you put us on. He didn't quite reach it, but the walk into the throat of the 72nd hole was spectacular anyway. "It's going to be a really cool day for someone tomorrow", the world number nine said. "The start helped him a lot".

Garcia eventually grabbed a green jacket, a feat that mostly erased his disappointments. He had been hitting so many greens all week. It was obviously playing a lot more hard, so I gave it all I had.

The stereotypes with Koepka are true. This is a exhausted trope, but it's also one that's true. "They closed this course down in September, October, and nobody's played on it since". And he closes with a finality bereft of geniality. Great player, great kid. Or as a member of two winning U.S. Walker Cup teams. The lesson? Koepka's not here because he enjoys Sunday afternoon strolls. Everything about Erin Hills played to Fowler's strengths. You can fire up all the brawny tractors and tillers in the world to carve up this thick glacier-created land, and those engines will hum with the ferocity of a couple hundred horses.

Brooks Koepka without the ability to harness his preposterous ability is nothing more than a bad long drive contestant.

Matsuyama's 66 was the best score on a windy final day, one better than Koepka. He found stardom right at home as the U.S. Open champion. It begs you for 72 holes of incalculable consistency. "What more can you ask for?" Since Jason Day lifted the 2015 PGA Championship, every major championship has been won by a first-timer. He will be lauded over and clamored for because of his power and a swing speed that melts Trackmans.

Apparently, there will be no soul-searching phone calls from Koepka to Smith. Prince of the driving range. That tells you that he never followed up one mistake with another.