Koepka claims first major title by taming Erin Hills

"I just felt like I should be winning more", Koepka said. Still, Matsuyama's T-2 performance showed once again that it's just a matter of time before he wins a big one. "This was the Erin Hills teeth people wanted to see, and they got it on Sunday".

On another day of low-scoring, Casey and compatriot Tommy Fleetwood were bunched on seven under alongside Americans Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman after the second round.

Koepka moved to 14-under with a birdie at the par-5 14th hole.

Koepka, playing the group ahead of Harman, broke the tie with a 34-foot birdie putt on the par four eighth.

"I came out this week (tied for) 35th place", Putnam said.

And now he gets to keep it for a year, with his name on it.

"It's truly an honour". He set up a short birdie putt with a nice chip on 18, and then waited around for the leaders to finish.

He came into the U.S. Open with one Ryder Cup appearance under his belt, and three top-five finishes in majors. It capped quite a journey for the 27-year-old Floridian. Without a card on any tour when he got out of FSU, Koepka filled his passport on the Challenge Tour with stamps from Kazakhstan and Kenya, Scotland and Spain, India and Madeira Island.

"Obviously, that's just one shot, but that was a pretty big turn", Thomas said of the bogey on No. 4. He had been on the road for so long, in so many different countries, and was feeling lonely. He won the next day to graduate to the European Tour. The next year, he earned a spot in the U.S. Open through a qualifier in England, and his tie for fourth at Pinehurst No. 2 helped him earn a card on the PGA Tour.

Koepka's win extended a remarkable run of victories by players who had never previously won a major. "The way I putted this week was unbelievable".

Koepka, whose caddie Ricky Elliott is from Portrush in Northern Ireland, becomes the seventh first-time major victor in succession, a run stretching back to Jason Day's victory in the 2015 US PGA Championship.

"It gives you a good grounding", Fleetwood said. "Now he's done it in a major".

And when he completed his hat-trick from 16 feet on the 16th, all that was left to decide was whether he would equal or break McIlroy's record. The tournament pits the top amateurs from the US against Britain and Ireland.

A kinder, gentler USGA contributed to the low scores as well.

While more players than usual broke par at a U.S. Open, numerous world's best golfers failed to make the halfway cut after Friday's second round. Only two players in 116 previous editions - Tiger Woods in 2000 and McIlroy in 2011 - had finished under par in double digits. Fowler's 10 under was only good for a fifth-place tie. Fowler started one shot out of the lead at the Masters this year and shot 76. He had three bogeys and two birdies on back nine, finishing with a 1-under 71.

Justin Thomas, coming off a 9-under 63 that matched the major championship scoring record and was the first 9-under round at a U.S. Open, shot 75 to tie for ninth at 8 under. The birdie at the par-3 17th ended any uncertainty about the tournament's final result.

Koepka's life has undoubtedly just changed, much like his friend Dustin Johnson's did after winning last year's U.S. Open, but Koepka has the game and demeanor necessary to pile up major championship victories.

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