Koepka conquers Erin Hills, wins 117th US Open

Solenn Plantier
Juin 19, 2017

That would be Brooks Koepka, who claimed his first major title Sunday at Erin Hills, Wisconsin, finishing -16 for the tournament. It was just his fourth professional title and second in America, but it yielded the biggest first prize in golf history, $2.16 million. Koepka is the seventh first-time major victor in a row, a run that started with Jason Day at the 2015 PGA Championship.

Right now, there may not be any sport in America where you can be as good as Koepka - nearly everyone in golf thinks that the ex-Florida State star, ranked No. 22 in the world, is a major figure of the game's future - and yet have so many genial, obsessed, talented players of your generation, your own buddies, who are constantly trying to grind you to dust by their sheer numbers. In fact, it was the first time since the world rankings were created in 1986 that the top three ranked golfers in the world missed the cut. It's one of those things, not a big fan of losing; I don't think anyone out here is.

A five-footer at the par-5 14th after Koepka reached a greenside bunker in two on the 588-yard hole started a run of three birdies in a row that essentially clinched it.

Through three days, Erin Hills had endured the test Fry sought for it when he first got the gig to co-design the course with Michael Hurdzan and Ron Whitten, even if rain and tame winds yielded low scores.

Brooks Koepka won the U.S. Open in historic fashion. But when the wind picked up on Sunday in the final round, scores rose with it.

Erin Hills never quite shaped up as the exacting, U.S. Open-type course it could have been.

"I enjoyed playing late on Saturday and Sunday and then next time, whenever that comes, I know that inside myself I feel fine and I can contend for the victory".

It's been a steady rise in the sport for Koepka, if not necessarily a straight one.

This past week, Koepka said, "I don't think I ever got nervous". He'd only won one previous tournament on the PGA Tour. "I think that's been the consensus from everybody".

The 27-year-old American, who had to leave his home country and join Europe's minor-league tour to get his career going, won the U.S. Open.

"I was just trying to have half as good a round as Rickie had", said Casey, who played in the afternoon.

"You don't get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free", Fowler said. I mean, it was still, I mean, 12-under, 11-under was still leading the tournament at one back.

Emotion? The most he displayed was a light fist pump, his hand clenched a little tighter with each birdie, and a double fist pump on the 18th when he tapped in for par.

"It will be exciting", said Spieth, who has spent the annual Spring Break holiday with Thomas and Fowler the last two years.

Koepka credits watching Tiger Woods for getting him interested in golf and making the sport seem kind of cool.

"Anytime you've seen the golf courses, US Open golf venues work back towards even par, there are complaints".

The miscues put Koepka alone back on top of the leaderboard, a perch from which he would not be removed. He said that coming off the 18th green, his caddie, Michael Greller, cracked, "We just needed these conditions every day". I'm glad I qualified and was able to play.

Brooks Koepka received a succinct piece of advice from a valuable source on the eve of the U.S. Open's final round.

"It bites a little bit right now, " Harman said. "Exhausted of traveling. I just wanted to be home", he said.

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