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19 Junio 2017, 09:46 | Crisanna Felipe
But Erin Hills, hosting its first major championship, finally played like a US Open course on Sunday, with 20-25 mile per hour winds wreaking havoc on the tee box and playing like the hard links-style course that the United States Golf Association envisioned when it booked the event.
So mammoth, mysterious Erin Hills, just 11 years old and basically unfamiliar to all 156 players that came to Wisconsin for the 117th edition of the U.S. Open, wasn't going to rattle the muscular Floridian, no matter how much fescue, distance and sharp edges the course can dish out.
While Koepka - the seventh first-time Major victor in a row - stuck diligently to his game plan, others flattered only to deceive.
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.
Florida native Koepka becomes the seventh consecutive first-time major victor, a run started by Jason Day at the 2015 US PGA Championship.
And he succeeded as US Open champion his good friend Dustin Johnson, who missed the cut at Erin Hills but gave him a pep talk on the phone after Saturday's third round. The three previous players to shoot 63 in an early round at a U.S. Open all struggled the next day. And I felt confident all week. On Saturday, he followed five birdies on the first nine with three bogeys on the back and on Sunday there was a triple bogey No. 8 sent him free-falling down the leaderboard.
"Yeah, I've never been a big, big man in any sport I've played", he said.
After turning in the best round ever at a U.S. Open, Justin Thomas was having one of the worst of the final round.
"You won't get a better day for scoring", Johnson said wistfully during the long walk to sign his card.
Xander Schauffele rounded off a stunning breakthrough week with a 69 that earned a share of fifth place with Bill Haas (69) and Rickie Fowler (72), who again flattered to deceive on the final day of a major. He shot the low round of the day, 6-under 66, to post a score at 12-under, which at the time he finished was just one shot behind Koepka and Harman. It was so tough out there with strong winds and tough pin positions but I played great, holed out great, putted lovely, did everything well. "He went and won the golf tournament on the back nine", Harman said. "And I'll win if I stay patient and just keep doing what I'm doing", Koepka said.
Harman, playing in the final pairing immediately behind Koepka, then rolled in a 29-foot birdie putt on the third to join Koepka at the top of the leaderboard. "If you get wind like this, you could play [Shinnecock] at 7,000 yards". He did birdie the 16th, but it was not enough, as he finished in second with a score of 12-under-par, tied with Hideki Matsuyama. He's shooting a two under through 10 holes, putting him at two over for the tournament.
"I felt like I was playing really good".
"I think it's an awesome golf course", Jordan Spieth said after finishing at 1 over par.
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. I think Tiger had the best winning percentage of all time at 30%, and you're lucky to even sniff close to 10. "You kind of have to say, hey, it's a major".
He was at 14-under par at the turn, and he later birdied No. 14 and 15 to open a three-stroke lead.
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