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20 June 2017, 10:09 | Andy Ferguson
Brian Harman leads the US Open
It was an accomplishment that wasn't lost on golf's newest major champion, even if his father and other family members weren't in attendance at Erin Hills on Sunday and missed one of Koepka's appearances at a major for the first time.
Unusual mentioned historical players including Francis Ouimet, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, whose names are on the U.S. Open Trophy.
Both failed by three shots to advance out of the second stage of qualifying school in Texas, leaving them with no status on any tour.
Going into Sunday five players had carded rounds of seven-under or less, the most ever in the U.S. Open's 117-year history while Canadian Adam Hadwin fired off six consecutive birdies in Thursday's opening round to equal another mark. The long-hitting American travelled far and wide, from Kazakhstan to Kenya and mainland Europe, cramming into bed and breakfast rooms with fellow players, spending some nights sleeping in cars, and learning about life and how to win.
During a tournament on the Challenger Tour, he had come close to quitting, telling his manager he wanted to go home.
That put him in Sunday's final pairing and Thomas, an early bird, said it was "bizarre for me", hanging around the house he shared with Fowler, trying to avoid the phone, the TV, all that was being written and said about him until it was time to go to the course. "It wasn't much. He just said a few things and just stay patient".
"I would have had to play some pretty spectacular golf to catch him". "I just think Brooks went out and won the tournament".
All of which made his U.S. Open victory Sunday at Erin Hills all the more special.
"I think it's exciting", Spieth said. His round of 66 was over almost 90 minutes before Koepka strolled to the 18th green, with the tournament all but wrapped up.
"I needed to make that if I was going to win this tournament", he said.
Only after he signed his card did Koepka realize a birdie on the par-5 18th would have broken another U.S. Open record at Erin Hills. His 9 under was the best-ever US Open score in relation to par.
It takes a lot to get Koepka excited, and while a U.S. Open certainly does the trick, it was hard to tell.
Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, shot a 66 to rocket up the leaderboard and set the clubhouse target at 12 under, but it never looked to be good enough.
2 Players to reach at least 13 under this year (Brooks Koepka, Brian Harman).
Koepka broke away from Matsuyama and the pack with three straight birdies on the back nine and closed with a 5-under 67.
Yes, both of them, neither to be mistaken with anything Tiger Woods has done over the years.
Third in the 2014 Dubai Desert Classic in January and the European Masters, he then captured the rich Turkish Airlines Open to finish eighth on the Race to Dubai and be voted European Tour Rookie of the Year.
Koepka, a member of last year's victorious USA Ryder Cup team last year, came to golf by accident - literally.
"I did not know that. It's one of those things, not a big fan of losing". I don't think anyone out here is. I would have liked to have played like that.
Grounding complete, he returned to the States in 2015 to join the PGA Tour.
"It's insane to think that this is only his second win", Justin Thomas said.
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