14, 15 and 16 to pull away from the field at the U.S. Open and claim his first major title.
HAIL THE KING: The 18th hole at Erin Hills had a special flag for the final round of the U.S. Open.
Matsuyama had eight birdies and two bogeys, finishing with a flourish with a birdie on the par-five 18th to end up tied with overnight leader Brian Harman on 12-under 276, four shots behind victor Brooks Koepka. But knowing, like I said, that I would have had to shoot 5-under just to get in the playoff, that's really, really good golfing out here today. I think the wrap it was getting for the low scores and everything, I mean it is what it is.
Koepka, 27, tied Rory McIlroy's U.S. Open scoring record of 16-under par. That run put him alone in second place and one behind Koepka, who was through 13 holes.
The American Ryder Cup star then bagged a trio of birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes to finish at eight under.
"I think I was just more aggressive than in the second round", he said about his third-round 82. It was obviously playing a lot more hard, so I gave it all I had. "So I think that was the changing point of the round". The conditions were so tough. Without a card on any tour when he got out of FSU, Koepka filled his passport on the Challenge Tour with stamps from Kazakhstan and Kenya, Scotland and Spain, India and Madeira Island. But at the same time, I don't feel as though I lost the golf tournament. When Rickie wins one, there will be a big celebration because so many people are rooting for him.
The three-time tournament victor at Florida State was quick to thank his family, friends and support team when talking to Curtis Strange at the trophy presentation.
"He was No. 1 on our team the two years I was there".
Growing up in Florida and with a great-uncle who played in the major leagues, Koepka's first love was baseball, but somehow life led him onto the golf course.
"I was like, 'I don't even want to play. Golf is kind of boring, not much action".
Defending champion Dustin Johnson was doing most of the talking. Jeff Sluman took home the 1988 PGA Championship while Hubert Green won the 1977 U.S. Open and the 1985 PGA Championship. These guys play a different game. Thirty-one players finished under-par, a new tournament mark.
Of the 24 players on the course early, only two are under par for the day - William McGirt and Jordan Spieth.
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I guess so. He shot a Sunday 66 and was in the clubhouse at 12-under par more than an hour before the leaders.
"I kept telling people a year ago after the Ryder Cup, when Brooks figures out how good he is, he's going to be a world beater", said Snedeker, who tied for ninth place at minus-8.
The others included recent Wells Fargo victor Brian Harman, who led Koepka by one as Sunday began and took a winding way to a 72 and 12 under; the fourth-ranked player in the world, Hideki Matsuyama, whose 66 carried him from 14th place to second at 12 under; and neophyte Tommy Fleetwood, an Englishman who had played seven previous majors and missed six cuts and whose 72 left him at 11 under. I felt confident all week.
Thomas followed Saturday's record-setting nine-under par 63 with a three-over 75 to finish eight shots back. I felt like I've underachieved.
"I'm just going to keep trying to do what I'm good at and keep doing what I know how to do and we'll see where it takes me".
He reached the front bunker in two shots at the 14th hole, a par 5, and got up and down for birdie to grab a two-shot lead. The popular American shot even for the day and ended up at 10-under. Unable to get up and down Harman bogeyed to leave Koepka clear on 13 under. Besides it being Koepka's first major win, it was his second professional win after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2015.
One thing's for sure, Brooks Koepka is a talent to watch and will likely remain a factor in future majors.