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Bummer buddies: Roomies Fowler, Thomas fizzle at US Open

19 June 2017

The two Americans, the closest thing to household names and/or favorites on a third-round leaderboard full of players looking for their first major, were left to tip their hat to countryman Brooks Koepka, who played close-to-flawless golf and tied the U.S. Open record in relation to par at 16 under.

One of golf's biggest hitters, Koepka also demonstrated he has a touch with the putter rolling in a monster 41-foot birdie putt at the eighth to reach the turn at three-under for the day and 14-under overall, in sight of his first major title.

Koepka shot a five-under 67 Sunday during the final round at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin, to clinch the victory.

Koepka's 16-under total tied for the lowest finish in an Open with Rory McIlroy, who shot 16 under at Congressional in 2011. Better than Brian Harman, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and the rest of the congested leaderboard.

The course played 7,741 yards in round one, the longest ever for an Open venue. He said that coming off the 18th green, his caddie, Michael Greller, cracked, "We just needed these conditions every day".

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Kite says it looks as if the conditions at Erin Hills "are going to be a lot more challenging", but he doesn't think it will look like what happened 25 years ago.

Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts. "I'll try to beat him the next time".

And with Harman making back-to-back bogeys, the remainder of Koepka's round turned into a procession as he strolled to that four-shot victory. I feel really good about just about everything else. We had one day like this, and the scores were more like an Open. Schauffele ranked in the top-15 among players in the field in putts, driving distance, fairways hit and greens in regulation for the tournament, closing out his U.S. Open debut in three birdies on the final five holes. He set up a short birdie putt with a nice chip on 18, and then waited around for the leaders to finish.

So the Koepka who, in a golf cart leaving the last green, put his hands over his face, pulled his hat over his eyes and seemed to melt with relief is a more accurate picture of the golf champion of America.

Overcoming his third-round triple-bogey eight on the 18th hole, Scheffler shot 73 on Sunday. "I'll go anywhere. 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".

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Six players start the final round within three shots of the lead, all eyeing their first major. Without a card on any tour when Koepka got out of Florida State, he filled his passport on the Challenge Tour with stamps from Kazakhstan to Kenya, Scotland and Spain, India and the Madeira Island. But the low scoring went much deeper than that.

In honor of the late Arnold Palmer, the USGA on Sunday handed out this replica pin from the 1960 U.S. Open that The King won at Cherry Hills. His 5-under 283 was his lowest score to par in his 20 U.S. Open appearances. That was four shots clear of Hideki Matsuyama and Brian Harman.

"It's an awesome golf course, " Spieth said.

Koepka recorded three quick victories on the satellite circuit to make the step up to the European Tour before the Floridian eventually progressed to the USA -based PGA Tour. It was long - the longest in U.S. Open history - and the fescue lining the fairways was brutal. "He silenced a lone bogey-5 at 10 (3-putt from 38'10") with six birdies at 1, 2, 8 and a hat-trick at 14-16.

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