Long road: Koepka's journey now includes a US Open title

Brooks Koepka

Long road: Koepka's journey now includes a US Open title

Tommy Fleetwood proved to himself he can contend for major titles after finishing fourth behind American Brooks Koepka in the US Open at Erin Hills.

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. Each of those tournaments have been won by a different man, dating back to Jason Day's victory at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in 2015.

On Sunday, he added Erin Hills in Wisconsin to the list - the stop that made all those frequent flier miles worth it. The 27-year-old Koepka is just climbing that ladder to stardom.

The wind kicked up, but it didn't faze Koepka.

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

His finish equaled the scoring record for score in relation to par that Rory McIlroy established in 2011 at Congressional Country Club.

A solid approach on the par-4 11th allowed him to roll in for birdie and he repeated that on the 12th to go 4-under. Koepka had been on the punishing Challenge Tour schedule, taking in events from Kazakhstan to Kenya.

"To get to travel the world at 22, 21 years old, and do what you do for a living is pretty neat", Koepka said.

"I felt like that has been the thing lately with me, why I haven't really played that well, I've been trying to win so badly".

"I think the Ryder Cup was kind of the first real taste of true pressure I think I've ever felt", Koepka said.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson failed to make the cut - but gave Koepka some advice after Saturday's third round. Jacobs receive both a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for his service, and he was also at one time a single-digit handicap who served as a marshal for several years at the Greater Milwaukee Open.

"If I could do it over again, I'd play baseball-100 percent, no doubt", Koepka said. Play the same, too. Responding to critics of Erin Hills - who said, after numerous low scores were posted Thursday, that the course wasn't hard enough - Hadwin took to Twitter: "For all of those ppl that thought this course was too easy, turn your tvs on".

"Dustin called me and told me just stay patient", said Koepka.

"It will be no surprise to many people back in Europe and certainly no surprise to all of the leading Europeans with whom he played with and against, and who he defeated in Turkey in 2014 as part of the final series in which they all played". "And it's no surprise". He followed that up with birdies on the next three holes. I think I hit 17 greens today, which was just awesome in these conditions. He said he was pulling for me and just hang in there. I put myself in some good chances over the majors over the last few years and never really quite came through.

Although he trails by two, Fowler is optimistic that he can finally land a major after a series of near-misses.

But in the end, a four-hole stretch of par and three birdies made Koepka a household name. Koepka stayed patient and calm and outlasted the field, including a charging Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler, who fell away to finish tied for fifth in another major disappointment.

Koepka has an interesting background, having taken the unusual step for a USA player of beginning his professional career on this side of the Atlantic, first on the Challenge Tour and then the European Tour.

"Being an amateur in the U.S. Open is very cool", Scheffler said.

For me, we're scratching our heads because somewhere over the years we've lost the definition of a U.S. Open champion.

He never mounted a charge, shot even-par 72 and ended up six shots behind victor Brooks Koepka. Born in West Palm Beach, he attended Florida State University before making his way through the Challenge Tour and then the European Tour.

Asked about the low point, he said it came one night in Scotland when he called his agent and said he wanted to come home. I don't want to say I was homesick, I was just exhausted of golf, exhausted of traveling. "And I just couldn't stand the fact that I'd only won once".

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