Brooks Koepka equals scoring record with US Open win

Jena Sims

Jena Sims

It was long - the longest in U.S. Open history - and the fescue lining the fairways was brutal. His round of 66 was over almost 90 minutes before Koepka strolled to the 18th green, with the tournament all but wrapped up.

"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.

Matsuyama shot a 6-under 66 on Sunday to pull within one of the lead, but Brooks Koepka birdied three straight holes to pull away to his first major championship.

Former champion Jordan Spieth was among the interested spectators as the US Open headed for a thrilling climax at Erin Hills on Sunday.

Harman had been tied with Koepka after his birdie putt on the third did a full circuit of the hole before dropping in, but found heavy rough off the tee on the 12th to make only his third bogey of the week.

"It was a long phone call for us - it was like two minutes", Koepka said.

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Matsuyama responded with birdies on the par-3 16th and par-5 18th to post a number, but it wasn't quite enough.

The low scoring suggested the 11-year-old course was a cream puff, hardly the USGA's idea of the ultimate test in golf.

Without a card on any tour when Koepka got out of Florida State, he filled his passport with stamps from the most unlikely outposts in golf while playing the minor leagues on the European Tour - Kazakhstan and Kenya, Portugal and India and throughout Europe. To try to go out there and try to get in a Top 5 or trying to get up near the lead is not what I play for, but, unfortunately, that's really all I was dealt, so it's what I had to try to do. Yes, he did look slightly more excited when he won his first Tour event, in Phoenix in 2015.

"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", he said.

"I played really well today".

Only McIlroy and Tiger Woods had previously finished double digits under par in the game's toughest test, while no runner-up had ever managed such a total. This year, nine players reached at least 10 under, and seven finished there. There were 133 sub-par rounds, nine more than the record set in that 1990 U.S. Open.

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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.

"Obviously, that's just one shot, but that was a pretty big turn, " Thomas said of the bogey on No. 4. "You have to measure success in different ways, not just by winning, just because that doesn't happen a whole lot".

Justin Thomas, coming off a 9-under 63 that matched the major championship scoring record and was the first 9-under round at a U.S. Open, shot 75 to tie for ninth at 8 under.

"Well", Thomas said, "it wasn't going to be like yesterday, regardless".

In the group ahead leader Brooks Koepka didn't slip up. 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.

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