Brooks for the win

Brooks for the win

Koepka tied for fourth at the U.S. Open three years ago, which helped him earn a PGA Tour card, and from there he powered his way from obscurity to his first PGA Tour victory in Phoenix, his first Ryder Cup team last fall and now a major championship.

Third-round leader Brian Harman had a share of the lead well into the afternoon until making back-to-back bogeys at hole Nos.

Koepka broke away from Matsuyama and the pack with three straight birdies on the back nine and closed with a 5-under 67.

Koepka's winning total of 16-under equals the lowest score to par for a U.S. Open, matching Rory McIlroy's victory at Congressional in 2011 on a par-71 layout.

"He went around like he was playing a casual 18", said Golf Channel announcer Rich Lerner of Koepka. I think Tiger [Woods] had the best winning percentage of all time at 30 per cent, and you're lucky to even sniff close to 10.

But the American then paid the price for an over-aggressive birdie attempt on the 10th which sailed past the hole leaving an awkward putt to save par. And I looked at the next hole and birdied 16.

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. He followed that up with birdies on the next three holes.

By the time Matsuyama - six behind at the start of the final round - rolled in his eighth birdie of the day on the 18th, he was just one adrift of Koepka, who had five holes still to complete.

However, Harman eventually stumbled with back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13 and his rival found peak form at the flawless moment - birdieing three holes in a row from the 14th to all but wrap up the tournament. Fowler shot 72 and finished at 10 under, in a tie for fifth. But if 12- or 13-under would have won, it would have hurt really bad.

But it's the putt he made on 18 for that bogey that's worth remembering and saluting, since missing it would have cost him $500,000.

"I felt like I was playing really good".

"The expectations I brought in, I was trying to compete and see if I could win the golf tournament, " Scheffler said. I think I hit 17 greens today, which was just awesome in these conditions.

"Because we played a Tuesday practice round together, he watched me play". But at the same time, I don't feel as though I lost a golf tournament. "And I'll win if I stay patient and just keep doing what I'm doing". Stricker tapped in for par.

As Koepka picked up momentum, Harman began to lose steam. It was just the third time he made the cut.

"It bites a little bit right now", Harman said afterwards. And they included major greenhorn Tommy Fleetwood, an Englishman who had played seven previous majors and missed six cuts but who thrived to 11 under here after shooting a closing 72.

"Yeah, I mean there's probably not that much that's that interesting to be honest", said Koepka.

NOTES: Scottie Scheffler, who plays collegiately for the University of Texas, was the top amateur finisher at 287 for the tournament with a Sunday round of 73.

It was not until April of this year that Fowler found himself in the major mix again, one off the pace heading into the final round at Augusta.

But Erin Hills, hosting its first major championship, finally played like a US Open course on Sunday, with 20-25 mile per hour winds wreaking havoc on the tee box and playing like the hard links-style course that the United States Golf Association envisioned when it booked the event. One day he will figure it out for four days and win a major championship.

Not even the wind could stop the onslaught of low scores at Erin Hills.

But Miller's thoughts on Thomas's record-breaking round when reached by phone on the Golf Channel were subdued at best: "Taking nothing away from 9 under par - 9 under is incredible with U.S. Open pressure, but it isn't a U.S. Open course that I'm familiar with the way it was set up".

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