Wind howling as final round at Erin Hills gets under way

Posted June 19, 2017

U.S. THREE-PEAT: Koepka is the third straight American champion of the U.S. Open, following Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson.

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.

"That's awesome", Koepka said.

Fowler gave himself a break: "You kind of have to say, 'Hey, it's a major, I played well this week'".

"If it was like this [windy] all week, two-under would be leading", said Els following his final round 74 to finish at seven-over for the tournament. "I know I´m going to be nervous, I just need to harness that as best I can". "I hope the moment will come as soon as possible". But Reed is in the mix heading into the final round, just four shots back of Harman at 8 under.

Harman had been tied with Koepka after his birdie putt on the third did a full circuit of the hole before dropping in, but found heavy rough off the tee on the 12th to make only his third bogey of the week.

That run put him alone in second place and one behind Koepka, who was through 13 holes.

"After that, it was kind of lights out", Harman said. I'm glad I qualified and was able to play. Out in 41, he restored some semblance of order with a two-under-par back nine.

It's not the longest hole and one that mitigated Koepka's distance advantage. After three all-American seasons at Florida State, the Florida-native made a decision to start his career in Europe instead of America. In 2014, he was named rookie of the year in Europe and was also nominated for rookie of the year honours on the PGA Tour after two top-10s back home. Hopefully though, in future majors I can play in the last or next to last group to give myself a better chance. As recently as a couple of years ago he didn't seem to thrilled about his career choice. At the same time, I don't feel as if I lost the golf tournament.

"I'm glad the fairways were wide, but there were some really hard holes out there, and I'm glad I played as well as I did", he said. After three days of benign conditions, players woke up to a howling Wisconsin wind.

"In some people's minds they just want to see just flat-out carnage at a U.S. Open", Hadwin said.

The buddies who shared a house near Erin Hills also shared the misery during a wind-swept final round in which they never got themselves into the mix. 15 was the best shot I thought he hit all day.

Hideki Matsuyama hinted he'd be a factor when he made three early birdies, but was still only eight under when he went to the 11 tee.

Spieth is well off the lead of 12 under held by Brian Harman.

The 26-year-old from Southport, playing in just his second US Open, was unable to keep pace with playing partner Koepka on the front nine. At this year's Masters, he entered the final round trailing by one but shot a 76 and was far from the drama between Garcia and Justin Rose.

"I don't know if I have 14-under in my bag to play". He's not anxious about the low scores the first few rounds. "I think Brooks went out and won the tournament".

Spieth had struggled on the greens all week at Erin Hills and both of his bogeys on Sunday came from three-putting, but the former world number one was pleased not to have "thrown in the towel". He was 10 under, only two shots behind.