Koepka cruises to win US Open, first major

Matsuyama, ranked No. 4 in the world, made a charge Sunday to put himself in contention to become the first Japanese player to win a major.

The 25-year-old Matsuyama had four birdies in a six-hole stretch to get to 11 under, just two shots back of co-leaders Brooks Koepka and Brian Harman.

Koepka became the seventh straight first-time victor of a major championship, and it was the first time since 1998-2000 that Americans won their national championship three straight years. 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.

Henderson won twice past year, taking the KPMG Women's PGA Championship for her first major, and successfully defending her title in the Cambia Portland Classic. Only six players had ever reached double digits under par in the previous 116 times at the U.S. Open.

Fleetwood played his final 10 holes in 2 under to close out an even-par 72 and salvage solo fourth place, five shots behind his playing partner.

"I felt confident all week".

Rickie Fowler, urged on by the biggest galleries at Erin Hills, turned in a scrappy outward nine mixing two birdies with a bogey to sit three back of the leader. "I would have had to play some pretty spectacular golf to catch him". But I think what was underestimated was how well he knew me, how well he knew my game.

"I just didn't have it today", said Thomas, who bogeyed two of the first four holes to set the tone for his day.

The opening round was without Phil Mickelson for the first time since 1993.

Earlier in the week, Steve Elkington directed a snarky and judgmental tweet at Rory McIlroy after the 28-year-old Northern Irishman missed the cut that read "Rory is so bored playing golf.without Tiger the threshold is prolly 4 majors with 100mill in bank".

Their scores - 13-under, 12-under, 11-under, and a trio of 10-under's - would have won every U.S. Open contested, save three.

Fresh off his record-breaking third round, Justin Thomas is tumbling down the leaderboard at the U.S. Open.

"I thought it was a fantastic round of golf, given what we were dealing with to start the day", the 23-year-old said. He could not make a four, but is unlikely to care one jot. And once Koepka made his third straight birdie at 16, Harman knew his championship chase was over. "To try to go out there and try to get in a top-5 or trying to get up near the lead is not what I play for, but, unfortunately, that's really all I was dealt, so it's what I had to try to do".

"To bogey the last is very disappointing because I really grinded hard today".

The soft, forgiving conditions created opportunity for major movement up the leaderboard for those players willing to take it.

"Yesterday (Saturday), I probably didn't hole many at all but you will have days like that". He's shooting a two under through 10 holes, putting him at two over for the tournament. "Kind of some of the younger crew is coming in", Fowler said. He's only done it once so to win his national open, I think that'll take a while to sink in.

Koepka wasn't alone in clobbering Erin Hills.

The 27-year-old struggled to believe his triumph, saying: "What I've done this week is incredible".

The world No 22 birdied the eighth but dropped a shot at the 10th, before following an eight-foot par save at the 13th with a run of three straight birdies to get to 16 under for the week.

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