Koepka: Staying patient was the key
Brooks Koepka admitted patience was the key to his record-equalling victory at the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills on Sunday.
The 27-year-old American won comfortably after carding a final-round 67 to leave him on 16 under, four shots ahead of Brian Harman and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, with England’s Tommy Fleetwood a shot further back in fourth and first-round leader Rickie Fowler closing on 10 under.
Koepka’s victory matched the tournament scoring record set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional in 2011 – and stretched the run of first-time winners in Majors to seven in a row.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson failed to make the cut – but gave Koepka some advice after Saturday’s third round.
“Dustin called me and told me just stay patient,” said Koepka. “Just keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to win the thing, and just don’t get ahead of yourself.
“A bunch of people told me that and I felt like I really stayed patient all week.
“I felt like that has been the thing lately with me, why I haven’t really played that well – I’ve been trying to win so badly. I felt like I’ve underachieved.”
Koepka feels honoured to have lifted the trophy and added: “It feels amazing to get my name on this trophy with so many other great names.
“It’s truly an honour. It’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced and to do it on Father’s Day is pretty neat. I didn’t exactly get my dad a card, so this works.”
Englishman Fleetwood began the day in a tie for second with Koepka and birdied the second bogeying the third, sixth and eighth.
The 26-year-old has climbed to 21st in the world rankings and said: “‘I’ve never contended for a major before, so when you get to Saturday and Sunday you’ve got to see how you react and how you feel.
”I enjoyed playing late on Saturday and Sunday and then next time, whenever that comes, I know that inside myself I feel fine and I can contend for the victory.”
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