Wind howling as final round at Erin Hills gets under way

Musings on the 117th US Open at Erin Hills following round two

Musings on the 117th US Open at Erin Hills following round two

Koepka made six birdies Sunday - including three straight on the back nine - and never let the pressure of the big stage deter him en route to winning the 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Koepka shot a five-under 67 Sunday during the final round at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin, to clinch the victory.

Sharing fifth were Americans Xander Schauffele (69), Bill Haas (69) and Rickie Fowler (72) at 10-under. Technically he hadn't won yet - there were still players on the course - but he held a four-stroke lead, which at that point was insurmountable.

"I should have made that up-and-down on 18, " a grinning Koepka, 27, said.

"It was a tough day out there, " Fowler said. "I don't know what to say right now but it's pretty cool". I scrapped a little bit for it, but I felt fine.

Well, I hope you got to see them in the first two rounds because none of them will be around for the weekend.

However, Harman eventually stumbled with back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13 and his rival found peak form at the flawless moment - birdieing three holes in a row from the 14th to all but wrap up the tournament.

As recently as 2014, Koepka said he called his manager before the final day of a European event (which he ended up winning) and said, "I don't want to play".

World number four Matsuyama started six shots behind Harman and he started quickly with three birdies in five holes.

Koepka - like Jason Day, Danny Willett, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Jimmy Walker and Sergio Garcia - is a bridesmaid no more.

That's when Koepka carded three birdies in a three-hole stretch and turned a precarious one-stroke advantage into an insurmountable four-stroke lead, and, eventually, a record-setting U.S. Open victory.

He was spectacular Saturday, never more than when he hit a 3-wood from 300 yards to 8 feet on No. 18 for an eagle putt that he drained to record the 31st score of 63 in major history.

Koepka admitted to Golf Digest in 2015 his preference for baseball: "If I could do it over again, I'd play baseball - 100 percent, no doubt", he said.

Koepka opened his final round in ideal fashion with birdies on his opening two holes.

Tommy Fleetwood, who played alongside Koepka and closed with a 72 to finish fourth, played the Challenge Tour a year before Koepka arrived.

He became the seventh straight first-time victor of a major championship, and it was the first time since 1998-2000 that Americans won their national championship three straight years. "I think Brooks went out and won the tournament".

With strong winds buffeting the 7,721-yard layout at Erin Hills earlier in the day, Mother Nature had appeared poised to bite back after three days of benign conditions which led to a feast of low-scoring.

It will also be a chance for redemption for numerous golfers there.

More startling than the low scores was smoke rising from about a half-mile away when a commercial blimp, not affiliated with the tournament, crashed into a field and burst into flames. He finished tied for second with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama who had the best round of the day.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 U.S. Open victor, closed out his frustrating week by shooting a 3-under 69 to finish 1-over for the tournament.

Jordan Spieth (73-71-76-69) on Sunday: "I think it's an awesome golf course. He went out and won the tournament on the back nine".

Henderson won twice previous year, taking the KPMG Women's PGA Championship for her first major, and successfully defending her title in the Cambia Portland Classic.

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