Koepka wins US Open Title

The scores were low at Erin Hills this weekend, and no one had a lower total that Brooks Koepka.

He closed with a 5-under 67, only realizing after his par on the final hole that a birdie would have set yet another U.S. Open record in a week filled with them.

"To get to travel the world at 22, 21 years old, and do what you do for a living is pretty neat", Koepka said.

That was five years ago, and each went his own way.

Koepka, who finished at 16-under 272, 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.

Koepka began filling his passport. He played in Kazakhstan and Madeira Island, Finland and Belgium.

But before earning a European Tour card in 2013, those high points were punctuated by doubts.

And he was ready to come home.

"Obviously the wind picked up and I felt like that played right into my hand", said Koepka, who considers himself a good ball-striker and good putter. "Exhausted of traveling. I just wanted to be home", he said. "Exhausted of traveling", Koepka said. "I know that inside myself". And then he flew to London early the next morning and qualified for the British Open.

But she told him: "You have to be able to give a punch and take a punch, in golf and in life". That's no longer the case, and the experience he gained at Erin Hills should help him should he once again be in contention for a major championship.

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One shot behind going into the final round, Koepka didn't miss a green until the par-3 13th - the only one he missed in the final round - and he saved par with an 8-foot putt that might have been more meaningful than the three straight birdie putts that followed. I was kind of - I don't want to say homesick, it was just exhausted of golf.

While others, including Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, made waves with their impressive single-round scores, consistency was the biggest key behind Koepka's win. Hideki Matsuyama shot 66 but started too far back. The last two champions, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, went on to finish in the top 10 at The Open Championship the same year.

It was only fitting that Koepka left Erin Hills with yet another record matched or broken.

McIlroy finished at 16-under 268 when he won on rain-softened Congressional in the 2011 U.S. Open. They spend time a lot of time together on the course, in the gym and at home, so Koepka has seen that U.S. Open trophy plenty at Johnson's house in south Florida. When he started out Sunday, one shot out of the lead and among 12 players within five shots, he did little more than walk to the cup after three birdies on the front nine.

"That is an issue for a lot of us, " said Russell Henley, a teammate of Harman's at Georgia who tied for 27th at the U.S. Open.

Despite such a chill personality, there was some irritation about not winning as much as he felt he should. His Ryder Cup debut past year at Hazeltine helped him cope with the pressure this weekend. Koepka had only won one title on the PGA Tour since turning professional in 2012.

"I was way more confident this week than I've ever been".

"I think it was a blessing in disguise". Not a big fan of losing. "I'd like to get a map and just look at all the places I've won".

In 2015 he won his maiden PGA Tour title in Phoenix and in 2016 claimed the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan, but admitted he felt like an underachiever.

"It's insane to think that this is only his second win", Justin Thomas said. But at the same time, I don't feel as though I lost the golf tournament.

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