The good times continue to roll for the Florida State Men's Golf program as Seminole Alum Brooks Koepka broke into the professional golf spotlight by winning the U.S. Open on Sunday evening at Erin Hills.
With athleticism and power, and four straight putts over the back nine that allowed him to pull away, Koepka capped off his hardscrabble journey around the world and found stardom at home as the U.S. Open champion.
His 5-under 283 was his lowest score to par in his 20 U.S. Open appearances.
A disturbing trend, or just a rough day on the golf course?
That left the stage set for Koepka, who completed the 17th in regulation and nudged home a two-putt par at the last to become the seventh consecutive maiden major victor. It's the first time that has happened since 1998-2000.
"It was a long phone call for us, it was like two minutes".
Sentiment and nostalgia will always find a place on the leaderboard, as 37-year-old Sergio Garcia showed by notching his first major win at the Masters in April, while 50-year-old Wisconsin-native Steve Stricker provided an emotional touchstone in an Erin Hills swan-song.
Brian Harman could have secured sole possession of second spot, but bogeyed at the 18th to share second with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.
"I don't believe in moral victories, " said Harman, 30, a two-time victor on the PGA Tour who was playing in just his eighth major championship. Below Harman on 12 under, three players are exhausted on 11 under - Thomas, Brooks Koepka and England's Tommy Fleetwood.
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Brooks Koepka flashes an unflappable, size-you-up look wherever he strolls - much like a real-life Peter Parker or big-cheese John Wayne.
"It was a grind out there, to say the least", he said after firing an opening-round 6-over-par 78. What he does in the gym has a lot to do with why he's your new U.S. Open champion. He led by two shots when he finished the third round, but had fallen behind by one by the time the final round began. A tie for fourth at the U.S. Open that same year helped Koepka earn his U.S. PGA Tour card.
He managed to claw his way back to finish the day at 7-over-par 79, but he finished the tournament a disappointing 13-over 157.
Stricker was rolling down the back end of the back nine, with three birdies between the 14th and 17th holes. Up ahead, fans were cheering on Koepka. Back when he was winning the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2003. He drops to 1-for-3 when leading/co-leading after 54 holes.
Scheffler plays for the University of Texas, and Champ plays for Texas A&M.
The resulting birdie reduced his deficit to playing partner Koepka to four shots, Koepka having followed birdies on the first and second with another from 35 feet on the eighth.
It's not much different from Johnson.
Justin Thomas, coming off a 9-under 63 that matched the major championship scoring record and was the first 9-under round at a U.S. Open, went out in 39 and closed with a 75 to tie for ninth. More than worrying about the uncertainty of his career, he was trying to figure a way to close one of these big ones out. After reaching 10 under through seven holes, he muffed two wedges and made triple bogey on his next hole.
Four U.S. Olympians were competing in the tournament, and among them, Rickie Fowler had the highest finish.