Brooks Koepka wins US Open title

Joan Terry
June 19, 2017

Mullinax shot 68 on Sunday to tie for ninth at 8 under, eight shots behind victor Brooks Koepka.

Maybe that is why he took off for a different sunset in finding his way in professional golf.

What he did looked awfully familiar Sunday at Erin Hills, minus any mess involving the rules.

On Sunday, he added Erin Hills in Wisconsin to the list - the stop that made all those frequent flier miles worth it.

Sixteen under is what Rory McIlory shot when he won the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional and nobody has ever shot a lower score in an Open, relative to par.

The muscular American, who started the day one back of the lead, tamed his nerves and a wind-whipped Erin Hills carding six birdies, including two to kick-start his round, against a single bogey for a five-under 67 to finish four clear of compatriot Brian Harman (72) and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama (66).

Those are two of the biggest names in the sport.

It just wasn't enough to faze Koepka.

Instead, he took off for Europe in 2013.

"Not a lot (of Americans) do it". You look back at all the wins, even on the Challenge Tour.

"I'm glad the fairways were wide, but there were some really hard holes out there, and I'm glad I played as well as I did", he said. "Obviously, Brooks dealt with it amazingly".

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Really low. He won a U.S. Open with scores of 67, 70, 68 and a rock-solid all-time Sunday 67, in a strong wind.

He defended his title in the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, beating Webb Simpson in a playoff at TPC Scottsdale.

And that is something with which he's scuffled. They spend time a lot of time together on the course, in the gym and at home, so Koepka has seen that U.S. Open trophy plenty at Johnson's house in south Florida. Not his best, but he said the course was fair. "They play the secondary role as parents when you have them at 18-22. But he's played so well in the majors, and played great in the Ryder Cup (at Hazeltine)". It lasted only a couple of minutes. It was long - the longest in U.S. Open history - and the fescue lining the fairways was brutal.

Johnson's advice was simple: Stay patient, stick to your game and "you will win the thing", Koepka said. A wayward drive in the fescue on the par-4 12th hole forced him to lay up. He drilled it in.

Koepka began the day a shot off the pace but moved up the leaderboard with a two-putt birdie at the first, before rolling in from four feet at the next to grab the outright advantage.

And he kept building on that. He set up a short birdie putt with a nice chip on 18, and then waited around for the leaders to finish.

Six players start the final round within three shots of the lead, all eyeing their first major. "Into the wind ... that was pretty impressive".

Harman picked up a shot at the 14th and left himself a tap-in gain at the 16th to get within three, while Fleetwood birdied the 14th but was unable to make any further inroads along the closing stretch.

That is about as emotional as he gets. Thirty-one players finished under-par, a new tournament mark.

Justin Thomas, coming off a 9-under 63 that matched the major championship scoring record and was the first 9-under round at a U.S. Open, went out in 39 and closed with a 75 to tie for ninth.

But whether you're remembering Tiger Woods winning at Torrey Pines in 2008 or Lucas Glover winning at Bethpage Black the following year or most any other U.S. Open, at some point the players upon the course become the focus of our attention.

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