"To win his national Open, I'm sure that'll take a while to sink in. Somebody else just loses it". The game was over when Koepka made a birdie 3 on the short par-4 15th while Harman made bogey there about 12 minutes later. Harmon had relied on precision ball striking and pinpoint putting, but that abandoned him on the back nine and he finished at an even par 72.
Koepka's 16-under par tied for the record score at the US Open. It seemed as though fans waiting to watch their regularly scheduled U.S. Open bloodbath would finally get their wish. The world number 50 headed to the clubhouse on 12 under, one ahead of Thomas, Brooks Koepka and England's Tommy Fleetwood.
"That's probably one of the coolest things I've ever experienced and to do it on Father's Day, it's pretty neat", Koepka said.
Harman won the 2003 U.S. Junior Amateur.
He defended his title in the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, beating Webb Simpson in a playoff at TPC Scottsdale. What he does in the gym has a lot to do with why he's your new U.S. Open champion. Your outlook on that depends on if you like your cup half full or half empty. Rory McIlroy set the record in 2011. The first couple of holes made a couple of bogeys and felt I rushed. Harman bogeyed his second straight hole at 13 to fall two shots behind Koepka. In so doing, he lifted himself from golf obscurity to heights long predicted for him but not yet achieved.
"When he started I couldn't hit it and I was missing cuts for fun".
He reached the front bunker in two shots at the 14th hole, a par 5, and got up and down for birdie to grab a two-shot lead. Matsuyama didn't need to stick around very long. I would like to think that's not why I played how I did. "When that happened it did give me a lot of confidence".
Some of the loudest cheers at the U.S. Open were reserved for a guy who never really challenged the leaders.
"Just keep doing what I was doing", he said.
"I played really solid from the moment we got here on Monday all of the way through today. I'll try to beat him the next time". I scrapped a little bit for it, but I felt fine. The pair were sharing a house at Erin Hills but neither one will go home happy. Koepka added another birdie with a 33-foot putt at the eighth hole. Koepka said, handing the trophy to Smith. "On 10, I hit a poor putt; not enough speed. So I think that was kind of the changing point of the round for me". I built off that putt and expanded on it. I think the wrap it was getting for the low scores and everything, I mean it is what it is.
Hot for three straight holes. But knowing, like I said, that I would have had to shoot 5-under just to get in the playoff, that's really, really good golfing out here today. It's awesome. To get calls, text messages last night was special. Koepka said he phoned his Dallas-based agent, Blake Smith, vice president of Hambric Sports. A bunch of people told me that.
In the eternally odd physics of golf, he thought he had been trying too hard to win, so he won by not trying so hard to win.
"I'd won once on the PGA Tour, once on the European Tour", said Koepka, whose European victory came in the 2014 Turkish Airlines Open in Turkey. One win in Europe. He's been - I think, if that's right, he's been in contention so many times. "Hopefully, though, in the future, in majors, I can play in the either last or next to last group to give myself a better chance".