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US Open champion Koepka reveals Johnson call helped him stay patient

24 Juin 2017

What do you do when you've been in a serious vehicle accident as a child and your doctor advises you to avoid all contact sports? Exhausted of travelling. I just wanted to be home, even though I think I had the lead at that point and was about to win the third one.

With his final score of 16-under, the 27-year-old Florida golfer has equalled the best result in US Open history since the victory of Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy in 2011 at the par-71 Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Koepka's 21st century brand of power play was too much for an Erin Hills course stretched to almost 8,000-yards.

One of those was the 39-year-old Casey, who said: "I'm over the moon with a 66". I like classic US Open courses but this is different.

The crash left him battered, bruised and looking like he'd done "six rounds with Muhammad Ali". He wouldn't catch Koepka, no one would.

A tie for fourth at the US Open that same year helped Koepka earn his US PGA Tour card.

"I feel really good about just about everything else", Spieth said. "And I think it was the night of the third round", Koepka revealed.

"Going over to play the Challenge Tour was really, really cool", he said. "If you look at the negatives too much you're going to be stuck doing that the whole time".

"I think it's a great test", said Brian Harman, who tied for second. And some of the places I went to were pretty neat.

Koepka followed his first career title at the Challenge de Catalunya with victories at Italy's Montecchia Open, the Challenge de España and the Scottish Hydro Challenge. "And to win on the European Tour in Turkey".

"I have no idea why", he reflects.

"It's taken me a long time to learn how to not try to win".

"Golf's my job, it's not my life". He headed for the golf course instead and enrolled on a junior programme which set him on his way.

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"I love travelling. I'll go anywhere". It's something I do.

"Did you see that fist pump there on 18", Koepka said with a proud smile.

Others in his place might have drifted away from the game. You're here to play golf.

By winning the U.S. Open, Koepka took home $2.1 million this week alone.

It has all led to this.

"Obviously the wind picked up and I felt like that played right into my hand", said Koepka, who considers himself a good ball-striker and good putter. "They're changing it every year". And based on their performances this week, I think we'll be seeing a lot more of them on top of the leaderboards going forward.

"And I felt like I really stayed patient all week". I felt like I underachieved.

KEY STATISTIC: Though wind made Erin Hills play tougher Sunday than any of the three previous days (1.926 shots above par), 31 players still finished the tournament under par, a U.S. Open record.

Tommy Fleetwood was at 11 under and Xander Schauffele, Bill Haas and Rickie Fowler were one more stroke back.

Hence, the notion that the gifted Koepka, from a long line of fine athletes, including a great uncle (Dick Groat) who was National League MVP, was some sort of Big Chill of the PGA Tour. Me and my dad used to sneak on and hit a few shots and then get off before anybody saw us.

"I don't want to say homesick". 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.

US Open champion Koepka reveals Johnson call helped him stay patient