His confidence in the final round came, in part, from a short conversation the night before with Dustin Johnson, a friend who had been through his share of close calls and heartbreaks before finally becoming a major champion at the U.S. Open previous year.
It wasn't almost enough to catch Koepka, but it earned Matsuyama a tie for second place with Harman.
"I'd never contended for a major before so when you get to Saturday and Sunday, you've got to see how you react and how you feel", Fleetwood said.
"I don't believe in moral victories, " said Harman, 30, a two-time victor on the PGA Tour who was playing in just his eighth major championship. "I think Brooks went out and won the tournament".
Ranked 22nd in the world, Koepka shot 2-under or better in every round of his fifth US Open. On the last hole today-a par five that measures 680 yards-he hit his three metalwood right down the middle of the fairway a whopping 379 yards. But after bogeys at the 12th and 13th holes and a birdie at the 14th, Harman could not overcome the three-birdie run put together by Koepka at holes 14 through 16. Day's score would have been enough to win 26 of the previous 30 US Opens. He posted the day's low round of 66 to give the seven twosomes that started after him a target to beat: 12-under. This was the first time four-players have shared the lead after the second-round of the US Open since 1974. Brooks Koepka hits the ball too far and too straight to become an also-ran on the PGA Tour. Koepka became the sixth consecutive first-time major victor with his sensational performance Erin Hills, Wisconsin.
Harman, who took a one-stroke lead into the final round over Koepka and Justin Thomas, was tied with eight holes to go after Koepka bogeyed the 10th.
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 3 straight years.
"I learned a lot this week", Matsuyama said.
Sentiment and nostalgia will always find a place on the leaderboard, as 37-year-old Sergio Garcia showed by notching his first major win at the Masters in April, while 50-year-old Wisconsin-native Steve Stricker provided an emotional touchstone in an Erin Hills swan-song. "Unfortunately, that's really all I was dealt, so it's what I had to try to do".
Koepka moved to 14-under with a birdie at the par-5 14th hole. "For us it was like two minutes, it wasn't much", Koepka said. He was clutch. He made sizable putts on four successive holes-13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th, the last three being birdies-rolling the ball right in the middle of the cup every time at the flawless speed.
NOTES: Scottie Scheffler, who plays collegiately for the University of Texas, was the top amateur finisher at 287 for the tournament with a Sunday round of 73. I thought I played pretty solid on Tuesday. It was his his seventh TOUR start of the season and nets his third top 25, all doubling as top 10s, highlighted by a career-TOUR-best 2nd at the WGC-Mexico. It's pretty cool. I'd love to get a map and just look at all the places I've won.
"I think the Ryder Cup was kind of the first real taste of true pressure I think I've ever felt", he added. I just didn't drive it as well today as I wanted to, so that would be something I'd work on going forward.
Behind the leading quartet, a logjam grouped eight players within two shots of the lead.
"I don't think I hit a fairway from the tenth and you can not play this golf course if you are not in position off the tee", said McIlroy, the 2011 US Open champion, who was returning after recovering from a rib injury. But the low scoring went much deeper than that.
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