Junio 22, 2017

Former Georgia golfer Brian Harman finishes T-2nd at 2017 US Open

19 Junio 2017, 08:51 | Benedicto Grullon

Pepperell had no complaints about the way the course played all week Andrew Redington Getty Images

Pepperell had no complaints about the way the course played all week

Brian Harman bemoaned his missed opportunity at a maiden major championship after finishing runner-up to Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open. That score would have won all but two of the previous 116 renditions of this championship.

"He went around like he was playing a casual 18", said Golf Channel announcer Rich Lerner of Koepka. It's telling that the latest major champion isn't a golf nut.

"He came through Europe but he is an American so I know he wanted to win on his home turf". It's the first time since 1998-2000 (Lee Janzen, Payne Stewart and Tiger Woods) that Americans have won it three straight times. His best finish in 20 U.S. Open appearances came in the first Open to be held in Wisconsin.

The 30-year-old bemoaned the outcome following his 72 holes but he paid tribute to countryman Koepka, who claimed a record-equalling score to par of 16 under.

He had a pretty good final round, too, shooting a 3-under 69 to finish at 5 under for the tournament. He tied for 13th in last year's Open at Oakmont.

Brooks Koepka has never feared the unknown.

The turning point came when Koepka bagged three consecutive birdies, starting with the par-five 14th while Harman carded back-to-back bogeys on the hard 12th and 13th holes.

The 47-year-old South African has played in just about every imaginable condition over a 23-year PGA Tour career.

Hideki Matsuyama is second at 12 under. He also tied for 11th in the Masters, but his game dropped off a bit from there. On typical U.S. Open greens, that would have run all the way off the back of the green. This is his third try at the U.S. Open and the first time he has made the cut.

One of these majors it will be Rickie Fowler's turn.

As Scheffler waited to be given his gold medal, Champ, who had just finished his round, congratulated him.

The 356 yard par-four 15th was the not only the toughest hole of Sunday's final round but proved key swing in the trophy chase. It capped quite a journey for the 27-year-old Floridian. Koepka bogeyed the par-4 10th hole, marking the first time he registered a bogey on the back nine during the tournament. He went from a tie for second at the beginning of the day to a tie for sixth.

Thomas had invigorated the tournament by terrorizing Erin Hills on Saturday for a record 9-under 63. After his consecutive bogeys, he birdied on the long par-5 14th hole, and again at 16.

"To be honest, the par save on 13 built some confidence, " Koepka said.

Trailing by three shots at the 17th hole, Harman desperately needed to make a long birdie putt to keep alive his faint championship hopes.

The leaders are on the course at the U.S. Open. He'll move from his present rank of No. 22 in the official world rankings into the top 12. Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood were one shot back.

The wide open fairways and soft greens of Erin Hills created the flawless course for Koepka.

Spieth opened with a birdie on No. 1 and said to his caddie, "Fifteen more". For three rounds, Fowler was able to rebound from missed fairways and greens with his putter, and then on Sunday those birdie putts just stopped falling.

Spieth had a big grin on his face recounting the story.

The week ended with 31 players under par, breaking the U.S. Open record of 28 players at Medinah in 1990.

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