Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Brooks Koepka wins 2017 US Open

Brooks Koepka wins 2017 US Open

The chip on the shoulder that Harman acknowledged he plays with was firmly entrenched, barely swayed by Sunday's gusty winds at Erin Hills, where a round of even-par 72 was not good enough to propel him past Brooks Koepka, whose 5-under-par 67 was good for a four-shot victory. Nothing to it. No fist-pumping, no jumping in the air, no cracking a smile. More people started playing. That? That was it?

When Matsuyama, at number four the highest ranked player to make the cut, delivered the round of the day a six-under 66 to get within one of the lead, a rampaging Koepka countered with golf's version of the knockout punch, clinching victory in ruthless style by registering three straight birdies from the 14th. Somebody who's got a long career.

Apparently, there will be no soul-searching phone calls from Koepka to Smith. "For us, it was like two minutes".

"Yeah, if you had told me I was going to shoot 12 under this year at a U.S. Open and not win", he said, "I would have taken the bet for sure". It doesn't really surprise me. I've been trying to win too badly. I got off to a pretty good start, which I really haven't done yet, so that was nice. "And the more patient that I can become, the more times I'll put myself in this situation". I'm a big fan of this place. It's probably unlike anything I've ever played in the states.

"I just kept doing what I had been doing for three days", was his simple explanation of his six-birdie, one-bogey final round. Harman bogeyed his second straight hole at 13 to fall two shots behind Koepka. "I don't think I mentioned "winning" to my caddie all week". Koepka said, handing the trophy to Smith. This guy is so freshly minted he may still be hot from the smelt. "Couple of these par 5s, I don't even need to hit driver and I can still get there". "But I'm past that now". Obviously selfishly you want it to be you, but if you can't win, you want a good friend to win.

"Anytime you've seen U.S. Open venues work back toward even par, there are complaints", he said. Until the next time they aren't.

HARMAN: I finished last at Memorial two weeks ago, so who knows.

So let's hold the talk about being "chill". But no more. We've got the laugh.

Those who played poorly, like Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day - pre-tournament favourites, all - missed the cut.

"I loved this course as soon as I saw it".

"It was kind of bombs away".

Sharing fifth were Americans Xander Schauffele (69), Bill Haas (69) and Rickie Fowler (72) at 10-under. In part, that is due to rain and soft scoring conditions. Besides it being Koepka's first major win, it was his second professional win after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2015. For example, before Koepka gave his post-round news conference, he was introduced by a USGA official as "Bruce".

Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas were the popular favorites.

It wasn't the week the 30-year old had in mind, but he believes that an excellent putting performance in the final round, coupled with some improved form in the recent BMW PGA and the Memorial Tournament, bodes well for his trip to the $7m HNA Open de France next week and the upcoming links tests at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and The Open. Si Woo Kim, who lurked all week, is 21.

"It's tough when you come to a place for the first time not really knowing how to set it up, how to play it". "So it's getting that much harder to win 'em". "But he's played so well in the majors, and played great in the Ryder Cup (at Hazeltine)".

Turns out, they think pretty much the same. "I think that's been the consensus from everyone", Spieth said Sunday. "This is major No. 1 and hopefully many more to come".

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