By the time the final groups reached the turn, the championship became a three-man shootout. South Korea´s Kim Si-Woo was one behind Fowler on nine under after also shooting 68, while three players - Patrick Reed, Russell Henley and Charley Hoffman were on eight under. Their minds are going to wander, to drift off to thinking about what happens if I win the US Open.
Hideki Matsuyama was the highest ranked golfer remaining in the field.
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning. "If it comes back here, I'd like to see the fescue a little bit thinner and the fairways a little bit narrower, so it's not a full-shot penalty for hitting it in the fescue".
"It seems so long ago but to be just ho-humming along a couple over par and be able to reel off six in a row when I did, it just sort of shows me that it's there", he said. "I've been there a handful of times and had some good finishes, but I'm looking forward to getting the job done". Not in the top 10, but Stricker says he is impressed with all these young guys and their low scores.
"You've got to tip your cap", said Harman, who tied Matsuyama for second at 12-under. Koepka's 16-under tied Rory McIlroy for the lowest score in relation to par in US Open history, and Koepka is just the third US Open victor to finish double digits below par (Tiger Woods).
And one of Scheffler's biggest summer goals is to earn a spot on the U.S. Walker Cup team for the first time.
Koepka strung together three consecutive late birdies and shot a 5-under-par 67 in the final round of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
One by one the contenders dropped off Sunday afternoon. But back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13 caused him to slip while Koepka was surging ahead.
Tommy Fleetwood of England finished fourth at 277.
Other view: Scalise shooting: Playing congressional baseball game shows needed unity
The 59th annual baseball game, played at Nationals Park in southeast Washington , looks to be a place where members can show it. Democratic former Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille said he had spoken often with the man on recent mornings at the nearby YMCA.
"Yeah, I've never been a big, big man in any sport I've played", he said.
"He was phenomenal - I would've like to have played like that".
Harman, playing in the final pairing immediately behind Koepka, then rolled in a 29-foot birdie putt on the third to join Koepka at the top of the leaderboard.
Matsuyama's best round of the day included eight birdies offset by two bogeys.
But the U.S. Open is meant to punish the world's best, where bogeys are good and pars are better - and you don't see the victor make three-straight birdies late Sunday to peel away from the field.
And when he completed his hat-trick from 16 feet on the 16th, all that was left to decide was whether he would equal or break McIlroy's record.
"It was kind of bombs away", he said. "On some of these par fives I don't even need to hit driver to get there and I putted brilliantly this week too". Harman was dominant on the greens this week, but just didn't have the firepower to topple Koepka.
That winning feeling was so sweet for Brooks Koepka after he sunk the final putt on the 18th. The Englishman has enjoyed a breakout season on both the European and PGA Tours this year, and this capped his status among the game's rising stars.
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.