Brooks Koepka wins 2017 US Open, tying lowest scoring record


Brooks Koepka claimed a four-shot victory during the final round of the US Open, winning his first major title and equalling Rory McIlroy's scoring record of 16-under-par. 

Walking up the 18th fairway with a three-shot lead, Brooks Koepka took off his cap and tipped it towards the crowds knowing that he was just about to become the 2017 US Open champion - despite being in the penultimate group.

He attempted to pitch up to the 72nd hole of Erin Hills with his third shot, but for the first time during Sunday's round, Koepka showed signs of nerves. He left it short, but it wouldn't matter. 

His birdie putt came up just a foot shy, leaving a tap-in par to gain his first major victory - which he celebrated with a quick fist pump and a shake of hands.

Koepka had begun the day one shot behind Brian Harman heading in to the final-round of the year's second major, which boasted a field of several high-calibre contenders such as Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.

And while the conditions were arguably the most difficult of the week, it was the 27-year-old American who tamed Erin Hills with a five-under 67 on a breezy Sunday in Wisconsin.

He very quickly assumed the co-lead with back-to-back birdies on the opening two holes to get to 12-under-par, before picking up another at the eighth with this lengthy putt to move in to the lead by himself at 13-under.

His only dropped shot of the day came at the 10th hole, but he regained momentum on 11 and carded a masterful up-and-down birdie from the sand on the par-five 14th hole to put himself two-shots clear of clubhouse leader Hideki Matsuyama. 

Matsuyama had set the pace with an astonishing six-under 66 in tough conditions, but he would have to settle with a tie for second place alongside Brian Harman as Koepka only continued his assault on the course. 

Two more birdies came on the 15th and 16th to increase his lead to four shots, and although Harman momentarily reduced the damage to three with a gain of his own on 16, the 54-hole leader gave the shot back to the course on the final hole.  

On his way to victory at the 117th US Open Brooks hit 17/18 greens in regulation during round four, and 62 out of 72 in total - ranking 1st in his efforts both on Sunday and for the week.

"It's unveliveable. I dont' even know what to say, it's pretty cool," Brooks said after his victory. "It's definitely a special moment"

"To get the calls and text messages I did last night was pretty special. Everyone was giving me advice, telling me to keep doing what I'm doing. That's what I did, and I felt really confident."

At the start of the week many imagined that the longest course in US Open history would benefit the longest hitters on tour, and Brooks Koepka is certainly one of those. 

"I loved it. It was bombs away, you could hit it far and the fairways were generous enough that you could miss it and still hit the fairway so that was a big plus for me," said Koepka 

"I was way more confident this week than probably I've ever been. I was striking it really well, I was putting it in the fairway and putting it really well"

"I'm a good ball striker and a couple of these par 5s I could still get there without hitting driver, and the way I putted this week was unbelievably too"

"What I've done this week is amazing. This is really truly special"

Harman and Fleetwood's efforts not enough on day four

Brian Harman was looking to beat out Phil Mickelson to become the first left-handed US Open winner, but a level-par 72 wasn't enough to challenge Koepka's eventual lead. 

England's Tommy Fleetwood played with Koepka during both Saturday and Sunday's rounds, ending up solo fourth at 11-under-par thanks to an even-par 72 during the final day.

Although he wasn't in quite the same league as his playing partner during the final stretch, Fleetwood was keen to take the positives while still commending Koepka's achievement. 

He said: "He [Koepka] was phenomenal down the stretch, I would have liked to have played like that"

"The way I felt Saturday and Sunday, you never quite know how you will react and it was all new."

"I felt really comfortable yesterday. Today I didn't play how I wanted to but it was a great week. I finished fourth in the US Open, I can't be too snotty about that."

Tough day for Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas

It was more major heartache for Rickie Fowler, who couldn't quite piece together his game as he too searched for his first major victory. 

Like so many others did on Sunday, Fowler started the round with a birdie on the first hole, and as a self-professed lover of wind many picked him out as likely to finally get over the line at a major. 

But he could only find 11 out of 18 greens in regulation and left himself with far too many testing five-footers, finishing the round with a birdie to card a level-par 72 and a shared spot of 5th place with compatriots Bill Haas and Xander Schauffelle. 

Meanwhile good friend Justin Thomas had made headlines on Saturday by posting the lowest round in relation to par in US Open history with a nine-under 63, but Sunday was a different story. 

It was the first time Thomas has been in contention during a major Sunday, and his game just didn't come together. Bogey's on three of his first five holes set the tone of the afternoon, and although he birdied the 10th another dropped shot on the 13th left him at nine-under for the tournament and tied for 9th with Brandt Snedeker.