Brooks Koepka caps a record week with US Open title

Vincent De Villiers
Junho 20, 2017

On a rain-softened course, McIlroy fired in numerous birdies to move up to a 14-under score by the Saturday and finished a full eight shots clear of Australia's Jason Day at 16-under par.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). Brooks Koepka walks away with the winning trophy after the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

After days of being humbled, Erin Hills turned nasty for the final round as heavy winds pummeled the links-style layout adding an intriguing wrinkle to the year's second major. Here, in vivid technicolor, are the moments that made the 2017 U.S. Open.

Koepka, who looks as if he would be at home in a National Football League huddle, held firm against buffeting winds and crushing pressure to claim a sensational four-shot victory over Harman and Matsuyama. His impressive score is only matched by Rory McIlroy's signature 16-under performance at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., in 2011. "It went from (maybe) a good save and a tap-in par to now going 2 over through four and really behind the eight ball". "I'll go anywhere. I think it helped me grow up a little bit and really figure out that, hey, play golf, get it done, and then you can really take this somewhere".

"I felt like I put myself in contention so many times", he said.

But the year's second major belonged to the young guns who tackled the longest layout ever for a U.S. Open. "And I just couldn't stand the fact that I only won once". "They play the secondary role as parents when you have them at 18-22. And it's no surprise". When he pushed a 30-foot birdie try on No. 12 a full 12 feet past the hole, he set himself up for bogey.

Koepka, who played a leading role in helping the United States wrest back the Ryder Cup from Europe previous year, said the experience of playing in the bearpit-like conditions of the competition had prepared him for Sunday. 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. His round of 66 was over almost 90 minutes before Koepka strolled to the 18th green, with the tournament all but wrapped up. I felt like I did a lot of good things, especially in the first round, executing my game plan. "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".

Brian Harman in the final group behind him made back-to-back bogeys and couldn't catch up.

"It's insane to think that this is only his second win", Justin Thomas said.

Thomas, looking for more from where his record-setting 63 came from the day before, was out of the hunt by the middle of the front nine. Fowler shot 72 and finished at 10 under, in a tie for fifth.

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The World No. 337 (from 458 last week) was cut from the only previous US Open he had played in in 2013, and this time found himself at five-under-par in a share for 16th place.

The 2010 US Open victor Graeme McDowell left Erin Hills at four-over-par, and he admitted on twitter after Thursday's round that he "Felt uncomfortable on the track today and just didn't play well".

And now their names are on the U.S. Open trophy, one after the other.

"That is an issue for a lot of us, " said Russell Henley, a teammate of Harman's at Georgia who tied for 27th at the U.S. Open.

Upon getting out of Florida State, he was without a card on any tour, so went onto the Challenge Tour, which is Europe's version of the Web.com Tour.

One night in Scotland, he called his agent and wanted to come home, even though he was leading the tournament.

Koepka credits staying patient for his victory.

"Today I didn't play how I wanted to but it was a great week".

Koepka has been tipped for the top since winning three tournaments on the Challenge Tour in 2013 to earn instant promotion to the European Tour, but the third win was in serious danger of never happening.

No one was more solid from start to finish than Koepka.

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