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Long road: Koepka's journey now includes a US Open title

19 June 2017

But he wasn't in a warm-and-fuzzy mood.

Coming into this round four with a crowded field at the top of the leaderboard, Koepka, like a thoroughbred in the final straight, made a decision to pull away, making three birdies in a row on the back nine to leave the rest of the competition behind.

The final-hole struggle was in marked contrast to his second-round rally, when he became the first player from China to make the cut at a US Open, according to US Golf Association records.

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.

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. He wasn't in any mood to pat himself on the back. 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. I had an opportunity and I didn't get it done.

"I felt like I've underachieved". "But I'm happy with the way I played, and it gives me confidence going forward".

As Rickie Fowler's tee shot soared into the first fairway Sunday, a man yelled: "Let's go, Rickie!" But at the same time, I don't feel as though I lost a golf tournament. Ever? "What, you didn't see that fist pump on 18?" At 27-years old, Koepka is well on his way to winning even more majors in the years to come. After a couple of victories in Europe, he won his first title on the PGA tour with a win at the 2015 Waste Management Open.

While the three top golfers in the world (Dustin Johnson, Rory McIllroy and Jason Day) did not compete, it was a chance for another new star to be born.

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So the door was left wide open.

Justin Thomas was unable to sustain momentum after carding a 9-under 63 Saturday, the best round in relation to par at a U.S. Open.

"This one was a challenge to get in".

The reviews of Erin Hills, with the tournament was complete, were largely positive. After three days of benign conditions, players woke up to a howling Wisconsin wind.

One of the University of Texas junior's goals is to play in the Walker Cup on September 9-10 at Los Angeles Country Club.

Koepka said that Ryder Cup experience helped him learn to deal with the pressure that has been known to thwart many a major hopeful on Sunday.

Speaking of achievements, one of the more impressive ones Woods managed throughout the height of his dominance was never seeming to lose his drive, even while becoming golf's first billionaire player and racking up one milestone after another.

And if the newness of Erin Hills bothered the traditionalist inside, don't fret: A steady decade-long diet of the golden oldies (Shinnecock, Pebble, Winged Foot, Oakmont, etc.) awaits.

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Koepka was playing in the penultimate group, with his only real rival, Brian Harman, in the day's final twosome.

"You're out there for, what, five and a half hours, you can't be focused in for that long, for five and a half hours, I think it's impossible".

Q. Can you talk about Brooks and not just winning but doing it the way he did?

"I'd love to get a map and just look at all the places I've won", Koepka said.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 U.S. Open victor, closed out his frustrating week by shooting a 3-under 69 to finish 1-over for the tournament.

Only one guy had a great week. The traditional definition of a U.S. Open-tight and nerve-wracking-was nonexistent at Erin Hills. So it was a lot of kind of laying around and just trying to stay off the phone and try to stay away from reading stuff just because there are so many things out there that are being said or written.

The runner-up's silver medal he received Sunday?

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Long road: Koepka's journey now includes a US Open title