Brooks Koepka was so good on Sunday at Erin Hills that he made the 117th U.S. Open Championship look like the Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Classic.
Koepka used his extraordinary length and accuracy off the tee, pin-seeking iron shots and laser-like putting to shoot a hard-to-imagine 16-under par at Erin Hills. In the process of his final round 67, he shot 16-under par and tied Rory McIlroy for the lowest score ever in America’s oldest championship.
Koepka blew out of the starting blocks and went birdie-birdie on the first two holes and never looked back. He played near-perfect golf, hitting 17 of 18 greens, most of the fairways and had just a single bogey that came when he three-putted the 10th hole.
By the end of his round, he buried the competition. Overnight leader Brian Harman put up a good fight but could only manage an even par 72 in the toughest conditions of the week as the winds cranked up and blew 15-20 miles per hour for most of the round. That brought an end to the silly low scores. Justin Thomas, who broke Johnny Miller’s 44-year-old single-round record with a nine-under par 63 on Saturday, ballooned to a 75 on Sunday and finished in a tie for ninth.
Harman was on the defensive for most of his round. He managed just three birdies for the day and finished with an even par 72 and tied for second with hard-charging Hideki Matsuyama. Matsuyama’s 66 got him to 12-under with Harman.
Rickie Fowler couldn’t find enough good shots, shot 72 and tied for fifth behind Tommy Fleetwood. Fleetwood, who played with Koepka, shot even par, put up 11-under and took solo fourth.
The win was only Koepka’s second in America. He played the European Tour prior to getting his PGA Tour card and won five times across the pond.
“Unbelievable. I don’t know what to say,” said the reserved Koepka, who showed little emotion other than a controlled fist pump as he holed out the winning put. “I was watching the scoreboard, I wanted to go as low as a could,” Koepka admitted.
His record tying-day earned him a record pay-day of $2,160,000 and changed his professional life forever.
He’s currently No. 22 in the world but will make a big jump when the new rankings come out.
In the meantime, the rest of the PGA Tour might want to take notice that there’s a new sheriff in town.