Brooks Koepka is a first-time major victor but he won't be a fluky champion, like Michael Campbell, Lucas Glover and Lee Janzen, among others.
The 27-year-old American didn't realize, however, just how close he was to making history.
Adam Hadwin opened the U.S. Open with a round to remember, but closed with a day to forget Sunday, at Wisconsin's Erin Hills golf course. And based on their performances this week, I think we'll be seeing a lot more of them on top of the leaderboards going forward. Heused the pivotal stretch to pull away and finish the championships at 16-under 272.
To say that this version of the golfing Koepka is new is a grand understatement. Also, I think Milwaukee and Wisconsin were great hosts.
Brian Harman in the final group behind him made back-to-back bogeys and couldn't catch up.
Tommy Fleetwood of England finished fourth at 277.
"Did you see that fist pump there on 18", Koepka said with a proud smile. How about changing the 18th hole from a reachable par-5 to a 520-yard par-4? He went on to Birdie the three hardest Holes on the Course, the 14th, 15th, and 16th.
In addition to Koepka, Berger and Blixt, the Seminoles have some up-and-coming potential stars such as Jack Maguire (who made the Open cut and tied for 42nd) and Hank Lebioda.
Like Koepka, Harman hadn't bogeyed a hole on the back nine until Sunday.
Koepka said later he also thought the par save on the par-3 13th gave him the confidence he needed, and it was a clutch putt, but the tournament was defined more by that bunker shot and that birdie.
"She's hurting, I don't know if she'll be able to caddie next week", he said. "But you've got to tip your cap to him". Per ESPN Stats & Information, the favorite hasn't won this tournament since Tiger Woods did it back in 2006. "I've done it before, but he did it today".
Now I don't mean to put undue pressure on Berger but the last seven of golf's Grand Slam events have been won by first-time major winners and he looks like a good candidate to join the party in the near future. "Rory (McIlroy), Dustin (Johnson), Jason (Day) - those guys went home (after missing the cut), so I don't think any of those guys found it too easy". Koepka's only real blemish on the day was a Bogey on the 10th Hole. Koepka and Johnson even train and hang out together.
"I learned how to play golf over in Europe; I learned how to manage being on the road".
Koepka began filling his passport.
"That was kind of lights out", Harman said.
Organizers at Erin Hills are cleaning after the U.S. Open.
The last five U.S. Open champions averaged 49.4 greens in regulation, 12 fewer than Koepka. His round of 66 was over almost 90 minutes before Koepka strolled to the 18th green, with the tournament all but wrapped up. He shot a 74 to finish at 7 over at Erin Hills, well off the lead.
At some point within the next 20 years, the U.S. Open should return to Erin Hills. Only four left-handers - Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Mike Weir and Bob Charles - have won major championships. "But it doesn't matter what golf course you put us on, if there's no wind and soft greens, we're going to play well".
Still, the word most used by the competitors to describe the course was fair.
I guess you never know when something like this will come back, so every opportunity to buy something as a token of remembrance was well worth the penny.
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