It wasn't easy, but it didn't look all that hard. It was the last mistake he would make.
Return visit: At 50, Steve Stricker would need to find the Fountain of Youth to play in another U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
Two closing pars meant Koepka completed a 67 and matched the previous record score to par in a U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy's 16-under winning total at Congressional in 2011.
But it's also true that the track in Erin received more rain and less wind than the USGA had planned. "The conditions were so tough", Harman said.
Koepka played it perfectly after the hiccup on No. 10. He tied for 13th in last year's Open at Oakmont.
"That's probably one of the coolest things I've ever experienced, and to do it on Father's Day it's pretty neat", Koepka said.
"You've got to tip your cap".
Jordan Spieth, who shot his lowest round (69) of the championships on the tournament's windiest day, said he wouldn't mind seeing the event return to Erin Hills. "It sounds pretty boring, but it's the truth'". As Brian Harman began to fade, Koepka poured it on with birdies over the next three holes, lightly pumping his fist after each one. He set up a short birdie putt with a nice chip on 18, and then waited around for the leaders to finish.
"That's awesome", Koepka said. I don't hit my driver 300 yards. A birdie there and that basically sealed the deal.
Koepka had always been thought of as a potential major champion and showed exactly why on Sunday with a near flawless performance, which saw him defy gusting winds early in his round and then capitalise on the return of calmer conditions on the back nine. If I keep playing well enough, I'll be in the PGA. They bomb it. If they hit it crooked, they hit it again. "He wasn't missing shots". "I've always looked to that as kind of a steppingstone". His tee shot went just 209 yards - it looked like it juuust got to the start of the fairway.
That shot on No. 15 was a microcosm for Koepka's entire week. The towering, overpowering American didn't miss a damn spot the entire week.
The two-time PGA Tour victor, and former Georgia star, showed a lot of heart while battling long hitters on a monstrous course. Then he finished top five in both.
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Koepka became the third straight American to win the title. "To be honest, I'm not a big golf nerd". It had to be today, especially with the wind. Yes, but it turns out he's not just any golfer.
A long birdie putt at No. 16 allowed Koepka to float home. Two down, 14 to go. Koepka removed his hat.
"It's going to be really fun". "The start helped him a lot". "I felt like I was playing really good".
The stereotypes with Koepka are true.
You may have heard the narrative this week about the athletic through line from Dustin Johnson to Koepka and on down the line to every senior in college with access to a gym and dreams of pocketing a PGA Tour card. Everything Koepka does is big. "They closed this course down in September, October, and nobody's played on it since". Three victories in nine weeks earned him immediate promotion to the European Tour, where, in 2014, he won the Turkish Airlines Open.
Dana Fry beamed as he stood on the range Sunday morning while Hideki Matsuyama and others warmed up for their final rounds at the U.S. Open.
Thomas was tied for 24th at 2 under par, 5 off the pace after the second round.
The putts and strategy were nice, but on the last, the longest hole on the course, Koepka chose to remind us all of that absurd pop he does have.
Thinking back to the third-round breeze in his face that made a good start hard, Summerhays knew what he was in for, once the winds became angry enough to slap around the field on Sunday.
It was more of the same at Erin Hills.
Brooks Koepka traveled around the world to find his game. It capped quite a journey for the 27-year-old Floridian. 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. It begs you for 72 holes of incalculable consistency. You can't ask for much more.
A changing of golf's old guard has been underway for some time but the 117th U.S. Open signalled that it can be considered complete with neither Phil Mickelson and/or Tiger Woods teeing up at major for the first time since the 1994 U.S. Masters. He will be lauded over and clamored for because of his power and a swing speed that melts Trackmans.
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