Bummer buddies: Roomies Fowler, Thomas fizzle at US Open

Justin Thomas

Out in 41, he restored some semblance of order with a two-under-par back nine.

Tommy Fleetwood proved to himself he can contend for major titles after finishing fourth behind American Brooks Koepka in the US Open at Erin Hills. He left as a major champion.

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"To go over there, 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", he said. But a deft pitch was followed by an unerring putt from just inside seven feet. That's what I did and it was great. He shot a Sunday 66 and was in the clubhouse at 12-under par more than an hour before the leaders.

After hitting a short par putt on 18, Koepka-playing a group ahead of Harman-pumped his fist twice in celebration. He balanced three birdie and three bogeys through his round. The 24-year-old native Kentuckian shot 2-over 75 for the day, ending in a tie for ninth place with Brandt Snedeker and former Alabama teammate Trey Mullinax at 8-under for the tournament. He'd only won one previous tournament on the PGA Tour.

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.

The last six majors have produced six first-time champions and that trend looks set to continue with the leaderboard dominated by mostly unheralded names.

Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman are tied for the U.S. Open lead heading to the last part of the final round. The lesson? Koepka's not here because he enjoys Sunday afternoon strolls. Thomas' 9-under 63 also broke Johnny Miller's U.S. Open record for low round in relation to par. Fowler finished at 10 under, in a tie for fifth place.

"They make it hard out here for us because this is supposed to be a field with the best golfers in the world", Robledo said.

"If I could do it over again, I'd play baseball-100%, no doubt", he told Golf Digest in 2015. "And I think this is hopefully major number one and there's many more to come".

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. He was only two behind when he made the turn, but bogeys on the 12th and 15th holes - and no birdies until No. 18 - ended his hopes.

The easy-going Koepka, 27, just comfortably settled in and unleashed his eye-opening power to get the better of Erin Hills and won the national championship on Sunday in record fashion. "Kind of some of the younger crew is coming in", Fowler said. You could hit it far and the fairways were generous enough. I had an opportunity today and I didn't get it done.

In the most anti-self-promotional way imaginable, Koepka became a golfer because of his face.

This week he received pep talks from swing coach Claude Harmon III, master short game coach Pete Cowen and from world number one Johnson, last year's victor. After three all-American seasons at Florida State, the Florida-native chose to start his career in Europe instead of America. He put everything together this week at Erin Hills.

Koepka took it from there - a victory in Turkey against a strong field, his first PGA Tour victory in the Phoenix Open, his first Ryder Cup and now a major championship. How nice? How about life-changing.

With that being said, I think Lefty made a good choice.

"It's awesome to get the calls and texts I got last night".

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