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Brooks Koepka runs away late to win 117th US Open
19 Junio 2017, 12:09 | Gerardo Tarin
Brooks Koepka runs away late to win 117th US Open
By the time the final groups reached the turn, the championship became a three-man shootout. "He went out and won the tournament on the back nine".
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.
"Just keep doing what I was doing", said Koepka when asked what his plan had been for the day. So on 13 I was just trying to be aggressive and hit the back of the hole. "I´m looking forward to my shot at it. It´s not going to be an easy day, for sure".
" My concentration was so good that day that I caught myself immediately every time I began to think ahead".
Koepka entered Sunday in a three-way tie and a shot behind 54-hole leader Brian Harman. He was locked in with birdies on Nos. 14-16 to create plenty of distance between himself and the rest of the field.
He then bogeyed the 15th hole, hitting it short of the green in two and failing to get up and down.
But he had to settle for a tie for second with Harman, four strokes back of the champion. Thomas' 9-under 63 also broke Johnny Miller's U.S. Open record for low round in relation to par.
The last six majors have been taken by first-time winners.
Seven in a row have been claimed by first-time champions, with the conclusion to the 117th US Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin emerging into a test of nerve for Brooks Koepka.
One by one the contenders dropped off Sunday afternoon.
A par on the final hole tied Rory McIlroy's record score to par at 16 under for a four-shot victory.
Koepka's three-putt bogey on the 10th gave the chasing pack renewed hope, but Fleetwood was unable to convert birdie chances from six feet on the 11th or twice the distance on the next.
One of golf's biggest hitters, the 27-year-old also demonstrated a killer instinct along with a deft touch with the putter, rolling in a monster 41-foot birdie putt at the eighth.
Koepka firing a 5-under 67 Sunday to finish the tournament at 16-under par.
Spieth had struggled on the greens all week at Erin Hills and both of his bogeys on Sunday came from three-putting, but the former world number one was pleased not to have "thrown in the towel".
The wide open fairways and soft greens of Erin Hills created the flawless course for Koepka. "You kind of have to say, 'Hey, it's a major'". "It went from (maybe) a good save and a tap-in par to now going 2 over through four and really behind the eight ball".
Koepka takes home $2.16 million, the largest single-day earnings in golf.
As Rickie Fowler's tee shot soared into the first fairway Sunday, a man yelled: "Let's go, Rickie!"
Starved of any playing privileges in the United States when he turned pro in 2012, Koepka played the Challenge Tour in Europe, graduated onto the European Tour and then progressed onto the PGA Tour in a career path that should provide lessons to other aspiring professionals.
So this first Open at Erin Hills, which opened in 2006, belonged to newcomers.
Three birdies in a row on the back nine saw Brooks Koepka break away to clinch his maiden major title at the US Open.
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Brooks Koepka wins US Open title after record week
Koepka then frittered a golden chance to regain the lead on the 11th, but was unable to convert a nervy nine-foot putt for birdie. Given the list of illustrious names who could not survive past 36 holes here, special credit is due to Scottie Scheffler.
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Brooks Koepka wins US Open title
Jordan Spieth may not have finished in the top either, but he had one of the best rounds Sunday at -3. Fowler gave himself a break: "You kind of have to say, 'Hey, it's a major, I played well this week"'.