USA

Golfer Koepka wins his first major at US Open

Golfer Koepka wins his first major at US Open

Brooks Koepka produced a back-nine birdie blitz to win the US Open golf tournament, becoming the seventh consecutive first-time victor of a Major with a record-equalling victory at the Erin Hills course here by four strokes, Sunday. He had three bogeys and two birdies on the back nine, finishing with a 1-under 71.

This time it was Koepka's turn to celebrate. "And I don't want to say I got unlucky, I felt like I just never fully came together".

Koepka missed just seven fairways during the tournament and hit 62 of 72 greens in regulation.

Fowler shot even-par 72 to finish at 10 under.

"I'd won once on the PGA Tour, once on the European Tour".

"I've worked my tail off over the last six months, from grinding every day in the gym, trying to make sure that I was physically ready and strong enough to be able to swing the club the way I wanted to", he said. "No regrets, but I did play well". But I think what was underestimated was how well he knew me, how well he knew my game. "I think Brooks went out and won the tournament". "This was just such a solid performance to win a championship that will change his life".

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"To go over there, I think it helped me grow up a little bit and really figure out that, hey, play golf, get it done, and then you can really take this somewhere", said Koepka, who made his first U.S. Ryder Cup team a year ago. His message was short and sweet. "It was a long phone call", he deadpanned. "It was like two minutes. It was something I thought was important, just to stay focussed and keep the pedal down".

Koepka has an interesting background, having taken the unusual step for a United States player of beginning his professional career on this side of the Atlantic, first on the Challenge Tour and then the European Tour. He joined the PGA Tour in 2014 and made the USA team for the 2016 Ryder Cup, where he posted a 3-1 record.

Koepka shot a 5-under 67 with six birdies and one bogey.

"At the start of the week, I was thinking 5 under would maybe win this thing, and I was pretty far off", Stricker said. Somebody who's got a long career.

"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.

The 26-year-old from Southport was appearing in only his second US Open but despite surpassing his expectations he was unable to live with his playing partner, Koepka, on the final day.

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"Competing in Europe helped me grow up a little bit and really figure out that I could really take this somewhere. On some of these par fives I don't even need to hit a driver to get there".

I think there's no reason why it couldn't host another one. I think the wrap it was getting for the low scores and everything, I mean it is what it is.

"He told me 'Just stay patient".

Fleetwood enjoyed a better back nine, picking up a birdie on the par-five 14th and making par on the last four holes, but by then Koepka was out of sight.

Ireland's Shane Lowry completed his week with a one-over-par round of 73, to finish on three-over for the tournament.

"That's probably the most emotion I've ever showed coming down the stretch", Koepka said following his win. But rain-softened Erin Hills was a new US Open course and a much different creature than most of the previous hosts. "It's truly an honor", Koepka said. The 32-year-old ended the weekend in Wisconsin tied for 92nd.

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