ERIN, Wis. — The inevitable nerves that come with contending in golf’s ultimate test didn’t bother 27-year-old Brooks Koepka.
Not even close.
Koepka made six birdies Sunday — including three straight on the back nine — and never let the pressure of the big stage deter him en route to winning the 117th U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
Koepka shot a final-round five-under 67 to top left-hander Brian Harman. He finished 16 under for the championship, and he did it by finishing in the top 10 in fairways hit and leading the field in greens in regulation.
The Florida native opened the final round 11 under and one shot behind Harman, the 54-hole leader. Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood also started Sunday at 11 under but fell off the pace early.
Koepka had just one previous victory on the PGA Tour, at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. He also won once on the European tour. The former Florida State University player, who had never finished worse than 18th in his three previous Open appearances, extended his lead to four with birdies on 14, 15 and 16.
Japanese sensation Hideki Matsuyama started his round at six under but did his best pressure the leaders, making birdies on 11, 12, 14, 16 and 18. That run put him alone in second place and one behind Koepka, who was through 13 holes. But Koepka birdied 14, 15 and 16 to pull away.
Harman, who has won twice on the PGA Tour, most recently at the Wells Fargo Championship last month, played the opening nine in one under but fell back with bogeys on 14 and 15. Up until this week, Harman had never even made the cut in a U.S. Open.
Thomas, fresh off his historic Saturday 63, couldn’t back up his third-round magic. He was done in by three bogeys and no birdies on the front nine Sunday. Rickie Fowler started the day two shots off the lead and looking to win his first major title, but he couldn’t catch Koepka. He shot even-par 72 and finished at 10-under for tournament, six back of Koepka.