Koepka's trip around the world leads to major title at home


"Yeah, if you had told me I was going to shoot 12 under this year at a U.S. Open and not win", he said, "I would have taken the bet for sure".

Brooks Koepka's winning total of 16 under par equalled the tournament record set by Rory McIlroy in 2011, while seven players finished in double digits under par.

Koepka has arguably been the best of the current crop of young Americans for some time but has been unable to produce the results to prove it.

"[I was] just staying one shot at a time".

Strong and aggressive, the 27-year-old Floridian is one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, averaging over 300 yards off the tee this season. Responding to critics of Erin Hills - who said, after numerous low scores were posted Thursday, that the course wasn't hard enough - Hadwin took to Twitter: "For all of those ppl that thought this course was too easy, turn your tvs on".

Englishman Fleetwood began the day in a tie for second with Koepka and birdied the second bogeying the third, sixth and eighth. He had chances at the British Open and PGA that year, as well, but his play got overshadowed by others.

In a fourth round that saw challenging winds, Koepka managed three birdies on the front nine and bogeyed the 10th hole before seizing control with a run of three straight birdies starting on the 14th. Thomas was quickly out of the mix after three early bogeys, but Fowler hung reasonably tough until the early stages of the back nine.

"I feel like I'm playing at the highest level", Fowler said.

Matsuyama got off to a fast start with three birdies in his first five holes, including a 41-foot putt from just off the green on No. 4. "Brooks was brilliant out there, especially the shots he hot down the stretch". And I just couldn't stand the fact that I'd only won once'. "It was windy and he shot five under par".

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His sister, Callie, served as his caddie at Erin Hills. Wild drives were punished, as they should be. For once, the USGA managed to get it right. The 54-hole leader, Brian Harman, entered Sunday's final round attempting to become the first left-handed player to win the U.S. Open. "You could hit it far and the fairways were generous enough where you could still miss it and hit the fairway", he said.

"It takes a pretty big man to step up and say, 'I was wrong, ' " Jones said.

"When he started I couldn't hit it and I was missing cuts for fun".

He said that he putted brilliantly too - and he did.

"This is truly special, it really is".

Hideki Matsuyama watched the finish on television in the clubhouse.

He was in touching distance of the third Challenge Tour victory he needed to earn instant promotion to the European Tour, yet emotionally he was going downhill fast. He ended up tied for fifth, shooting a 10 under overall.

Smith talked him out of it and Koepka duly went on to win, collecting £25,000 and a £25 trophy for his troubles.

"Today is more like a British Open but they were soft conditions", the Big Easy said.