High winds to make final round of US Open interesting

Brendan Steele, a PGA Tour victor but not much of a household name, became the first played in U.S. Open history to card 22 birdies in the week.

Speaking of achievements, one of the more impressive ones Woods managed throughout the height of his dominance was never seeming to lose his drive, even while becoming golf's first billionaire player and racking up one milestone after another.

He also missed a five-footer for birdie on No. 2, a six-footer for par on No. 5, a 12-footer for birdie on the 12th and an eight-footer for par on 15. He had since won THE PLAYERS in 2015.

It wasn't the week the 30-year old had in mind, but he believes that an excellent putting performance in the final round, coupled with some improved form in the recent BMW PGA and the Memorial Tournament, bodes well for his trip to the $7m HNA Open de France next week and the upcoming links tests at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and The Open. 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. "I'd like to see another one here, for sure".

T2. Brian Harman (-12): The tournament changed around the 12th and 13th hole as Harman ended up with bogeys while Koepka began a run of three straight birdies in the group ahead of him. His 3-over 75 left him finishing in a tie for ninth.

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Winds gusting up to 25mph were making scoring conditions hard and had forced tournament officials to change the pin position on the par-three 13th before play began.

Fowler tried to take only positives away from the occasion.

Two closing pars meant Koepka completed a 67 and matched the previous record score to par in a U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy's 16-under winning total at Congressional in 2011.

T2. Hideki Matsuyama (-12): While the top three players in the world missed the cut, Matsuyama (No. 4), showed world-class stuff down the stretch. "Just keep doing what you're doing, you're going to win the thing".

Players were delighted in the sticker-shock tone of the tournament, saying it was playing more like a regular PGA Tour event where birdies are plentiful. "So it was pretty cool to get that, and to play well today on top of it was extra special". "You never know how you're going to react being up there in the final round - you've got to deal with that and it's all new for me". "Even though the scores were somewhat lower than a normal U.S. Open, to finish in double digits under par at a major championship, especially the Open, it was a good week".

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The fairways were the widest in US Open history and Koepka took full advantage, averaging 307 yards off the tee and hitting 88% of them across the four rounds, tied fourth overall.

Justin Thomas, coming off his record-tying 63, and Tommy Fleetwood were starting to fade.

Only Nicklaus rebounded well enough to win. And despite the drama-free Sunday, it produced a damn good time. Too long he felt.

That put him in Sunday's final pairing - a 2:54 p.m. tee time - and Thomas, an early bird, said it was "bizarre for me", hanging around the house he shared with Fowler, trying to avoid the phone, the TV, all that was being written and said about him until it was time to go to the course.

"He just said a few things, and just stay patient. I kind of wish I'd stuck with it". He's also the seventh straight first-time major champion in men's golf.

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Perhaps they will get their chance to continue the narrative at the Open Championship next month at Royal Birkdale. That's what I did and it was great.

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