Justin Thomas comes crashing back to earth after Saturday 63

Solenn Plantier
Juin 19, 2017

Koepka becomes the 10th golfer from a current ACC school to win the U.S. Open, as well as the second Seminole (Hubert Green in 1977). "That's probably the most emotion I've ever shown coming down the stretch", Koepka said of his fist-pumping celebration.

But the year's second major belonged to the young guns who tackled the longest layout ever for a US Open. "I felt like I was playing really good".

Spieth, the 2015 Open champion, was in the fifth of the 34 twosomes to tee off, and he tamed a course that was buffeted by 30 miles per hour winds with a 3-under 69, his best round of the week by two strokes.

There was also plenty of big trouble at the 15th with five players carding double-bogeys, Satoshi Kodaira, Thomas Aiken and Li Haotong taking sevens and Russell Henley an eight. He finished four shots ahead of Hideki Matsuyama and 54-hole leader Brian Harman. After he had, Matsuyama sat in the safety of the clubhouse waiting.

Li, 21, turned professional at age 16 and won the Volvo China Open last year on the European Tour, securing a 2-year membership and qualifying for the Rio Olympics. After his second shot found the bunker, Koepka made an impressive shot to set up a short birdie putt to provide him with a two-stroke lead.

That's what we've come to expect of the U.S. Open.

Growing up in Florida and with a great-uncle who played in the major leagues, Koepka's first love was baseball, but somehow life led him onto the golf course.

On the eve of Sunday's final round, Johnson called Koepka, who began Sunday a stroke off the lead, to offer some advice. This time it was the turn of Brook Koepka to join the major-winning club, after the talented American played a brilliant final round to clinch the US Open title at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. "It's very tough. It gives you a good grounding, I think", said England's Tommy Fleetwood, his playing partner Sunday.

But the turning point in a gripping war of nerves came just after the turn when Harman struggled through back-to-back bogeys on the 12th and 13th. The 27-year-old Koepka is just climbing that ladder to stardom.

"I played really well today", he confirmed.

Even with the three birdies in a row, it was a par save from nine feet at the 13th hole that Koepka credits for getting his round going.

"What I've done this week is awesome", Koepka. His eagle on the 667 par-five 18th was phenomenal by anyone's standards, and we didn't see Johnny Miller putting 90 degrees away from the hole and still making a birdie putt on the 5th.

AMATEUR HOUR: Scottie Scheffler was the low amateur, shooting a 73 to finish at 1 under. But I think what was underestimated was how well he knew me, how well he knew my game.

"To go over there, 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". It's a score that would've won all but two of the previous 116 renditions of the U.S. Open. The pair were sharing a house at Erin Hills but neither one will go home happy.

"You know at the start of the week I was thinking maybe 5-under would win this thing". Canada's Adam Hadwin was out in the worst of it and shot an eight-over 80 to finish nine-over for the week.

"I don't think I hit a fairway from the tenth and you can not play this golf course if you are not in position off the tee", said McIlroy, the 2011 US Open champion, who was returning after recovering from a rib injury. "I'm sure someone even heard me say that. I started missing some left and tried to correct it and missed a couple right".

The low scoring went much deeper than Koepka's final score.

Day three brought with it Justin Thomas' nine-under-par 63, breaking Johnny Miller's 24-year-old record to shoot the lowest round in relation to par in the tournament's history, and Miller wasn't particularly gracious in defeat.

The wide-open golf course relies on the wind as its greatest defence and those teeing off in the morning saw how hard the course can play.

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