the

2017 U.S. Open Film: "Golf's Newest Star"

I mean I'll be back when I was seven the

putting green new little kid and I swear every time I had like a 5-footer to win

the US Open and to actually be like okay I just did that like that it's kind of

surreal it didn't really hit me so we got on the plane that I had won you know

looking at the trophy and the coolest part about it for me was you know I

looked down you know I'm really close with Dustin

so my name is right below him and then across from - Tigers which is pretty

sweet you know because he's kind of one of the reasons I'm playing this game and

you know I guess you know somebody I looked up to my entire life so yeah I

get goose bumps even thinking about it now I got goose bumps right now this for

the US Open every age of golf has its own story

it's own sagas his own stars its own monks that will never be forgotten so

welcome to a new age and the story of how the game's ultimate test once again

challenged the best of a generation like the Great's who came before them they

had to prove that they had a balance of mastery will and drive and once again

the US Open Championship stood as a chance to define them forever Justin

Thomas

in 2015 it was a 21 year old from Dallas Texas who went to chambers Bay and

became the youngest winner of the championship since Bob Jones nearly a

century earlier in 2016 Pokemon offered an iconic backdrop for

the long-awaited breakthrough of one of the game's most gifted players and then

came 2017 when in the American heartland one of the longest hitters of his

generation looked to prove like Jack and Tiger decades before him that he had the

complete game to conquer golf's ultimate test this is the story of how Brooks

kept go rose highest in the moments that meant the most against the greatest

players in the sport on the stage where he'd emerge as golf's Jewish star this

is the tale of the 2017 US Open Championship

the US Open has always celebrated some of the greatest qualities of the

American spirit

the open nature of its qualifying unique topography of the country in which it's

played and the dedicated communities who annually host the game's marquee

championship and the story of how the US Open returned to the Midwest for the

first time in more than a decade and came to the state of Wisconsin for the

first time in its more than 120 year history is a remarkable one

it began here on an old cattle farm of all places

with a dream that this land could be the perfect setting for the US Open

Championship they literally moan out almost the

current routing that you see today and we walked at this is one of the most

spectacular pieces of land that you could find to build a golf course the

land and the idea of bringing the US opened back to this corner of the golf

world undoubtedly intrigued the United States Golf Association and two years

after that 2004 visit Aran Hills was open to the public making it all the

more remarkable that just four years after back in June 2010 was announced

that the course have been awarded the 2017 US Open Championship it was news

that thrilled to his consonants including the man who was arguably the

state's most famous golf product it was special for Wisconsin to have the US

Open the whole state rallied behind it people came out and big-time support to

be from the state of Wisconsin and to participate in the US Open right in my

backyard and it was a special treat for everybody involved and lead-up to the

championship other famous Wisconsin sports figures took the opportunity to

test out the course it was fun to see that how they play it and where they

actually hit from how far they carry it and everything so

it's just fun to be out here and you know kind of see the world for a little

bit seeing these guys play this is the highest level you could ask for so again

to see history being made here Adair Hills is gonna be a lot of fun

as for the top athletes in the sport they were also eagerly anticipating the

chance to triumph on a new stage because from every vantage point the course

looked to be undeniably unique I knew going into it that it was a big golf

course it was gonna be very determined on how the weather and the conditions of

the course were - how difficult or easy it would play and I was a perfect shape

horse it would be the longest US Open course ever playing as long as 7,000 741

yards and the championship was set to be played at a par 72 for the first time in

a quarter century I think the average golfer that watches a US Open thinks par

72 s are just so hard because that's for par 5s and that's just a greater chance

for them to make sixes and sevens you know and for a tour player par fives or

birdie holes normally the course had few trees but instead fescue grass

sandwiching it's wide fairways the way you could lose your dog in it you could

lose a small child in it it was a very very tough it's as bad as I've ever seen

you know the fescue was obviously not a place you wanted to be so we were just

trying to figure out a way to put it in the fairway anytime you can be

challenged mentally physically emotionally I'm gonna think it's the

ultimate test altogether Aaron Hills loomed as an epic

challenge for the best golfers in the world atop the list of contenders was

the defending US Open champion Dustin Johnson DJ had broken through on

a major stage for the first time at Oakmont in 2016 and arrived at the US

Open as the world number one to me it doesn't matter what number I'm coming in

here at but yeah it feels good to still be number one now I'm gonna play golf

now this is why I'm here I'm here to play golf I'm here to compete and so

that's that's what my job is this week then there was also jordan Spieth who'd

become the game's latest phenomenon in 2015 with back-to-back major victories

at the Masters and US Open but two years later was still looking for his next

major if you came for a stress-free tournament you didn't come to the right

place and we know that going in and so you just prepare accordingly and you try

and just have a little extra level of patience and we've had a good time

preparing game game feels like it's in good shape when Rory McIlroy won his

first major the US Open in 2011 at Congressional he set a championship

record with his score he came into Aaron Hills feeling ready and sounding hungry

these are the whitest fairways we've ever played in the US Open

you've got 156 of the best players in the world here if we can't hit it within

that oven you mental pack your bags and go home it's the US Open it's supposed

to be a tough test and if guys can't put it in play within a 50 yard zone I don't

think got much to complain about Australia's

Jason Day was a runner-up at the US Open in 2011 and 2013 at Erin Hills the

former world number one at big plans the US Open is one of those tough moments

where it brings in the desire how much how much you desire to win it's a matter

of how you handle yourself in that moment to prepare yourself to greatness

one familiar face who wasn't on the course as the week started was Phil

Mickelson who'd announced a few days earlier who wouldn't be able to compete

in the championship he most wants to win instead attending his daughter's high

school graduation back home for tour veterans Steve Stricker the US Open

coming to his home state was a tremendous thrill but without an

automatic spot in the field the 50 year old first had to go through sectional

qualifying is one of 898 hopefuls who teed up at 12 different qualifying sites

around the world I wanted to play in this US Open very badly since it is and

was the first one in our state so I went to work I played a lot of golf I tried

to qualify and ended up making it through down in Memphis and I you know

earned my way to get into playing the US Open and that just maybe struck a chord

with a lot of people that hey you know I'm just like everybody else here in the

state I I went to work a little bit harder to get in there and they showed

me a lot of support Stricker might have had a strong

connection to the 2017 championship but coming in the newest big names in the

sport looked to have real strong chances to win it a new generation of stars like

Justin Thomas who in January at the Sony Open in Hawaii had become just the

seventh player in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59

and youngest ever to break 60 there was also Ricky Fowler that California in

2014 US Open runner up still searching for his first major title and then there

was the 27 year old out of Florida named Brooks koepka Brooks koepka

third shot birdie putt from well off the back of the green he went with the

putter

yep go for the eagle yeah you guessed it to 3-under par so do name atop the

leaderboard Kefka was a tough guy when I mean a tough guy me he's come up through

the ranks and he's won a couple of terms he's coming on he's a really good golfer

that maybe a lot of people weren't talking about going in to Aaron Hills

but everybody was talking about coming out of barren hills kepco grew up in

Lake Worth Florida and then went on to play college golf at Florida State

growing up in Florida everyone either they do horses or they play golf it's

kind of I guess the golf capital of the world and so it's um it's very popular

down here while he was still an amateur he qualified for the 2012 US Open at the

Olympic Club I was lucky enough to qualify for the US Open being the first

professional event I ever played and you know it's just finishing up College I'm

gonna turn pro later that summer and to have that opportunity is is really

really special not long after it kept car turned pro and went to Europe to

play on the Challenge Tour two years later back in the States

he finished a surprise for the fine earning of his PGA Tour card and

ensuring the US Open would always have special meaning to it you know you spend

your whole life dreaming about getting to the PGA Tour or winning a US Open you

know you're a seven-year-old kid and that's that's the only thing you want

the realization that okay I can actually play out here and I can compete with

these guys week in week out was pretty pretty cool

for me he came into Aron Hills hardly playing dominant golf but two days

before the championship began his coach uttered a comment that left him burning

a bit one of my coaches sat me down on on the Tuesday of the US Open and he

kind of they lashed out I mean pretty good you know he basically just told me

I was underachieving and he told he actually told me that I would never win

a US Open I think that was those his exact words if you know me and you tell

me I can't do something I'm like alright we'll watch this that's what I'm about

to do Brooks koepka may not have seemed like the kind of guy who needed extra

motivation but as the 2017 US Open at Aaron Hills got underway Kefka was more

than ready to show his coach and the world what kind of golf he could play

but in a field filled with young talent he wouldn't be the only new star to make

a strong opening impression

as the 2017 US Open began at Erin hills the Wisconsin weather was just about

perfect the countryside is absolutely gorgeous the weather today for this

opening round is just ideal it was an exceptional condition you know the

greens were the players all said the best condition greens we've ever said

widest fairways chances are these scores could be very low I think we got some

rain Wednesday evening or afternoon soften things up a little bit you look

at conditions a little bit softer and then but I think we thought they might

be it was perfect scoring ignitions so the best players in the world they're

gonna take advantage of the Golf Course especially as long as they hit it now

and sure enough a group of hungry players seized on the conditions to

register strong starts to the championship

here is Paul Casey awesome touch underneath looking straight up at the

whole birdie try here for Rickie Fowler couldn't hit it any more pure the

logical thought was that long hitters would take well to the longest US Open

course in history I was looking at the Bombers it was looked like a bombers

paradise to me I was looking at the favors you go down our list of these top

players and think who these guys they're gonna eat this place up but as so often

with US Open history what actually happened was less predictable as players

like Dustin Johnson Jason Day and Rory McIlroy struggles to take advantage of

the favorable conditions lots of heavy fescue prairie grass for the numbers one

two and three players in the world today now Jason Day

not again serious hey see if Dustin Johnson get it on this surface or pin hi

again miss the fairway McElroy here now to talk one away it was at UNK with a

lot of left on it hung up in the worst possible place scoff courses

Aven it's away with the best players on the planet top three players in the

world were all aggressive that's their nature and they were off line and they

were in the tall fescue even though the fairways were very wide they got their

self in trouble and they were just bombing the ball they weren't playing at

strategic golf and each of them were an undeniably big danger of missing the cut

look at Jason day's scorecard two triples that's a trainwreck squared

there's never been a major championship where none of the top three players in

the world made it to the weekend we could very well be seeing them

Brooks kept go though was another matter entirely

it felt like we had a good game playing going in I felt like you could really

really attack the golf course the only thing I was trying to do there was just

have fun and play golf and the floor of the native wasn't just long on Thursday

he was accurate I was down in from from the get-go I feel like when when you hit

as many fairways as I did which that doesn't happen for me

I've never got never at that many fairways so what I do I was kind of like

okay we drive the ball really well kept get hit 13 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18

greens in regulation and six birdies in just a single bogey left him at 5-under

setting the stage for a tremendous breakthrough detail this may be the time

for Brooks koepka bomber who's got a short game is a pretty darn good

combination to win a US Open this could be his coming out party along with kefka

other players found themselves flourishing including Tommy Fleetwood

who arrived in Aaron Hills in the midst of a resurgent season Tommy Fleetwood

from England who's been playing great golf and just so sensational really

hitting fairways and greens all day every day playing in the morning when

the conditions were particularly friendly Fleetwood avoided any bogeys

and finished up at 5-under and what a good round for Tommy Fleetwood

contending the United States Open when you wake up in the morning at a US Open

you don't really think 5-under you just kind of think

let's make pars and you think of the best way to make pars you think of the

best places to miss the greens if you're gonna have to miss them or just a

perfect place hits it Irish friend all the time so 5-under

yeah I'll take it Brian Harmon had enjoyed three top-ten

finishes over the three months leading up to Aaron Hills including a win at the

Wells Fargo at Eagle Point you know Brian Harman I mean he's a great player

it's a long golf course for him but he makes up to it in short game in his

putting Armin started his US Open with the

bogey-free round of his own it's hard man who is off to this terrific start

here today including four birdies in six hole at all left end of 5-under as well

it's obviously not just another golf tournament by the same time I mean this

is what we do for a living yeah you just have to take the course for what it is

and try to play the best you can Paul Casey the world's 14th ranked player

looks strong as well opening his round with an eagle goodness that's a nice way

to start your day on his way to around a 66 yes sir Paul Casey ever-present in

the majors can he close the door he finally come true you know it's not a US

Open with an eagle something special there fall out with a birdie on the next

I'm ecstatic I mean the scoring was so good this morning I'm happy it stayed

very benign for us and I've capsulized on it and the leaderboard also included

Xander Shockley a 23 year old out of San Diego State who turned pro in 2015 but

didn't play on the PGA Tour at all until 2017 he came into Aaron Hills having

missed the cut in seven of his prior 13 event

but found what he was looking for in Wisconsin making six birdies in his

opening round including four over his last eight holes all told that

brilliance alongside no bogeys added up to perhaps the greatest day of sharpies

pro career a 66 at the US Open I qualified for this event it's not like I

was you know in it already and to me that's as a rookie you only get a

certain amount of starts so for me to qualify for this event it's just it's

like a bonus round for me so I mean I'm out here I got nothing to lose and then

there was Rickie Fowler one of the biggest names at Aron Hills certainly

among those still in search of a first major title Fowler had missed the cut at

both Oakmont and chambers Bay the prior two seasons but also had finished in the

top ten each of the two years before those as he began his Thursday on the

back nine he was striking the anchor I think a lot of people would consider him

the best player without a major championship when he made the turn there

I was like you know this has got a chance to be a pretty historic opening

round type of situation right from his opening drive you could tell by his walk

except he had something to do out there and pose a storm hitting 12 of

14 fairways with a controlled approach off the tee

owl ended with seven birdies and 11 pars

65 that's the lowest score in relation to par the

first round in US Open history it was probably the best ball striking course

management and putting that I've ever seen I've been swinging well through the

start of this week and knew that I could go out and get off to a good start and

play well but really just the the big part of it was sticking to the game plan

going through the process and committing to it Fowler would still be atop the

leaderboard when the afternoon finished but Brooks Kepler was only two shots

behind playing as well as he could have dreamed and he couldn't wait for Friday

I honestly felt like nobody could stop me you know people talk about being in

the zone and that's kind of how I felt I even turned to my coach Claude and I was

like if I don't win something's wrong that's how I felt I felt really

confident really calm and you look back at you know Thursday to get off to a

good start was so key I couldn't wait to go to u-dub and anytime you kind of get

that combo and going you know it's gonna be a good week it would be a day that we

see some of the favorites try to claw back into contention and some unknowns

try to continue to prove they were worthy of golf's ultimate test the US

Open has always been widely regarded as the game's ultimate test a US Open

course is always known as being really difficult a grind a tough test every

shot at a US Open it's just a disaster waiting to happen that's what it feels

like so you're kind of like living on edge through every shot and when you get

done you're like all right great I'm done I can go relax

now but I mean it's just the toughest week of the year it all means that as

the championship continues you typically see the world's best battling it out

atop the leaderboard but at Aaron Hills in 2017 the storyline turned out to be

very different with the favorites not playing to form and the top three in the

world rankings failing to even make the cut even though they were the widest

fair was in the history of it the USGA and the US Open he didn't hit him you

were trouble and six out of the top ten in the world missed the cut and they

were packing their bags slamming their trunks on Friday night watching with the

rest of us on the weekend for Rory McIlroy his first round 78 proved just

too much to overcome and while the 2011 champion improved his

play on Friday with a 71 it wasn't enough the players said if you've missed

these fairways you deserve to be penalized and namely Rory McIlroy I mean

he sat in front of the press saying you know if you can't hit fairways that are

40 50 60 yards wide you should be penalized here and Rory was where he

didn't hit a lot of fairways and really really struggled Jason Day chasing his

first US Open title fared even worse on the Wisconsin course once again missed

to the right in the heavy stuff with a 79 and 75

the Australian was never even close to making a run to get back anywhere near

contention the biggest thing about this course is that the fairways massive but

when you're when you're visually looking down the fairway with everything so

large your target gets a lot larger and your misses get even more extreme I

wasn't quite on top of my game and unfortunately just in executing and then

there was the defending champion Dustin Johnson who after missing the

Masters with an untimely injury had come to Aaron Hills with high hopes but

following his first round 75 there was no room for error on Friday and after a

promising round to start three bogeys over his last six holes left him on the

outside looking in since the United States Open as a major it means a lot to

me and definitely disappointed not playing the weekend Justin Rose

Adam Scott henrik stenson Bubba Watson and rising star John ROM were also among

the big names who'd failed to make it past Friday I mean any time these guys

missed the cut I think anyone's a little bit shocked you know they're they're

unbelievable players I guess some wish you have it somebody don't and you know

unfortunately for them they didn't didn't have it that week but Brooks

koepka wrote an entirely different story

he's got the power after his 5-under round on Thursday the

27 year-old came back to the course Friday morning looking to stay in

contention I felt like going into day two I felt like I was in good shape I

felt so confident I just felt like everything was starting to click and it

it's a great feeling when that happens and starting round two on the back nine

Kefka began his red hot this par 5 oh wow that is just

pounded out there this guy kept guff Florida State grad bombs it leaves the

field in greens and regulation this week he just been remarkable t agreed and now

pretty good on the grades after his remarkable bogey-free 30 to start he

cooled off a bit on the front nine with two bogeys but at the end of the day

found himself tied for the lead and poised for a memorable weekend to buy

for his first major yeah I mean being right there and they still the lead is

where you want to be anytime you can play so well in the back nine and then

you're going okay well I feel like I can carry that momentum into the weekend and

then you leave and the next time you show up the golf course you still got

that good feeling and that's kind of how I felt a strong back nine like kept cos

was hardly a universal story on Friday with many of the rest of the contenders

flourishing on Aaron Hills first nine holes but struggling on the inward half

like Paul Casey who had a hard time settling in as he started his day on the

second nine with three birdies nullified by two bogeys and a nightmare Trimble

you know a US Open it's it's tough to get through without having some kind of

error and I made a huge error on 14 and got out of position and pay the price if

you miss one shot on these holes you're paying a big penalty for the measures

are seeing right here still five birdies late in his day left him nonetheless

smiling as you went down through the program

five birdies in a row was spectacular especially the three iron into the third

very proud of that proud of the grid that I showed the sticking to the game

plan and then executing it making making some fancy finding those birdies that I

needed Brian Harman wasn't flashy on Friday but a workman like 70 kept him

tied for the lead after his 67 the day before what a terrific shot for Brian

Harman this is new territory for Brian his third US Open Wally's missed the cut

his previous two I think the course is set up really fair the greens are

perfect just feel fortunate to have the chance on the weekend I'm trying to take

advantage of every opportunity you get guys are really good and it's gonna play

again the top of the leaderboard would be

rounded out by Tommy Fleetwood we started the day with an inauspicious

bogey on one but quickly settled in to go 3-under the rest of the day capped by

a birdie on a 676 yard 18th hole jump on into the tie at 7-under

Tommy Fleetwood I mean yeah it's always nice to finish the day with a birdie M

yeah it's great way to finish great words finished two days great wait sir

so I walked off the course tonight and par is always your friend of the US Open

so any birdies he'll take him Fleetwood was reminding the field that

he had the skill and the strength to make a run at the trophy Rickie Fowler

coming off a record-setting first round failed to match those efforts

there's three straight bogeys on the back nine spoiled an otherwise solid day

you know I really didn't do a whole lot wrong I had a couple holes kind of get

away from me and never been one of the nice to not have those bogeys on the

card but made some great swings coming out I felt like I made a couple good up

and downs made some good swings on the last so we're in a great spot and

looking forward to the weekend Fowler still finished only one back of the

leaders at 6-under there were other familiar names staying in contention as

well including Japan's hideki Matsuyama

turning in one of three 7-under 65 s on the day to pace the field their fateful

it's always been a goal to win a major yes I said the US Open and I'm close and

I have a chance all I can do is just do my best and hopefully all goes well

Matsuyama spur formance put him on the leaderboard alongside see woo Kim JB

Holmes and Xander sha flea who's Friday 73 wasn't near his eye opening 66 the

day before but still had him in the conversation heading into the weekend

started this championship playing 26 holes without a bogey and he walks away

with a nice par save to stay three shots back now at 5-under American Justin

Thomas had begun his championship by shooting a 1-over 73 but his six

second-round birdies helped them to build some momentum heading into

Saturday and not to be left out of the mix was Wisconsinite Steve Stricker who

with his wife Nikki working as his caddie followed up his 73 on Thursday

with a 72 on Friday capped by a birdie on 18 dating the 50 year old to make the

cut to the home crowds delight I hit up approach shot into 18 and almost holed

it out for my third shot hit it to a couple of inches and and the roar in the

crowd went crazy and and probably the loudest cheer that I've ever received

anywhere what a week he is having and what a

reception he's getting fully deserved though I look at Nikki she's got a big

grin on her face and I've got a big grin on my face and it was just uh it was a

cool shot got a huge response from the crowd and something that was pretty cool

but still no one headed home from Aaron Hills on Friday more optimistic than

Brooks koepka honestly from Thursday and then Friday I felt the same way was that

it was my golf tournament that's kind of how it felt um I felt like it was I was

ready I was so focused on staying one shot at a time that was the big thing

you know stay focused stay stay in your lane don't don't get ahead of yourself

because if you just take one shot at a time it'll happen the American was

handling the tension and stakes of the US Open with surprising calm and ease he

never looked like he wasn't in control he never looked like there was a

situation on the course where he was starting to mentally lose it you know he

told me it's Friday I'm not looking ahead to Sunday I know this is his two

rounds then he didn't get ahead of himself he just took it one shot at a

time and he had the right demeanor for that week in that golf course now two

more rounds stood between Brooks koepka and the championship but the next

chapter of the weekend would belong to another player chasing a remarkable

slice of history the tee shot an eighteen wasn't the best but the second

shot was probably the best ever in my life

the story of every US Opens centers around the battle for the championships

coveted trophy but every year there are also shots from across the field that

are simply unforgettable these two days it counts

here's Aiken third shot

now the neck eiements ooyama his second shot at the par-4 15th

for that for for ranked player in the world

Matsuyama Saturday moving day and the 117th u.s. open Saturday was crazy you

know it was just one great round after another I'll say this I mean as a golf

fan Saturday at Aran Hills was probably the most fun I've had watching a major

championship in my life and so the field set out for the third round which would

turn out an historic fashioned for 24 year old Louisville Kentucky native

Justin Thomas

Saturday I didn't feel anything special or anything crazy I mean it was just

another day and I'd been swinging really really well all week feel like I've been

putting well just hadn't really gotten anything out of it Thomas started hot

with two birdies then came four birdies and five holes heading into the turn

look where he's aiming this putt here on five this is Justin Thomas bob was one

of those almost putt putt like putts

that was beyond a bonus for that one again this is for a share of the lead

that looks pretty good that looks really good Justin Thomas

vaults to the top that put on nine that's kind of when I knew I was really

really feeling it I I knew his right speed when I hit it and was about five

to six feet left I knew I I knew I made it and I just started walking out of him

and down the stretch came a birdie on 15 I had a distant awesome tee shot there I

felt like that was probably one of my better swings of the week unbelievable

3-wood and another birdie on 17 17 is one of the harder holes out there and it

was another one of those things I just thought it would feel good I got started

online I just went around the back supposed to brake a little bit

Justin Thomas is now 7-under on the day in sole possession

look at that scorecard the tee shot on 18 wasn't the best but the second shot

was probably the best shot of every of my life 18 second shot par 5

Justin Thomas it's 299 yards oh he gave it it is all you can see them trying to

bring that ball back to the right

Masek three went on 15 massive turn to adhere on 18 and Justin Thomas putting a

stamp on his round it could be the best u.s. open round ever

I was obviously swinging well is it well and I was kind of feeling it and it just

when it came off I wasn't sure if I was gonna quite cut enough and yeah it was I

was a prequel shot as Jimmy and I were walking on the green on 18 because we're

so far away in the elevation of the green we couldn't really see the ball

exactly so as we're getting closer and closer to green we can see that this is

the legitimate shot and we got the team to Eagle here and I do I do remember

saying Tim let's knock this thing in Justin Thomas who has a chance for a

record-setting recount is sitting on his golf bag here at 18

that tells me he's nervous generally don't sit everyone you play around to

golf and those butterflies start crankin I get a little shaky and jittery on

putts and I could feel it a little bit again but I just I want to call myself

and just try to relax over that button here we go

he missed the short putt on 15 for Eagle when he drove the green with a 3-wood

now this eagle putt for a 9-under 63

dead center Justin Thomas

around 63

and the best single round in US Open history

yeah that fought on 18 it was it was a tough fight and when I was reading had a

pretty good idea and the Potter obviously was feeling good so I would

have bet on myself to make I'm in the scoring tent and I knew I shot 63 I mean

I I knew I'd tied the record but then the score was like yeah the lowest round

in relation to par ever I was like that's cool I didn't know that I think

that was something that took a little while to set in the fact that I actually

had a record but uh but it was pretty cool

he shot 63 that's a hell of a round I don't think people realize how how good

and how impressive that was he shot 9 under par at a US Open which had never

been done before and he did it with two of the best 3-wood shots in the history

of the game of golf that was as good as we could have ever had expected

thomas is afternoon headlined a day of overall tremendous play by some of the

best golfers in the world with eleven players shooting 68 or better Saturday

wasn't always pretty for Rickie Fowler but he grinded away working his way to

six birdies and just two bogeys earning a 34 going out and a matching 34 coming

in for a 68 hooking first

living in just two shots off the lead I

had a couple of bogeys but I was able to rebound from those and definitely making

the three in a row on the back nine and I was big and then to find a way to just

make some good Mars in the last two we're definitely a good position for a

moment Tommy Fleetwood had stayed near the top

of the leaderboard all throughout the first two rounds at Aron Hills on

Saturday there were a few poor approach shots and that is a mistake right there

for Tommy Fleetwood but also some masterful recoveries for the young

Englishmen on his way to a 68 right by the flag what a shot

I swung it great today felt really comfortable we never felt in any trouble

I felt a very ease with my swing it's just one of them tournaments that you

picture winning as a boy as a teenager even turning pro the majors of the

majors and the US Open is one of the biggest events in the world so it's a

pleasure to be in contention on a Sunday Brian

Arnie meanwhile was even better continuing to be when the most

consistent and accurate player

how perfect is this with a 30 year old reaching the 54-hole market 12-under

with a 67 matching is opening around school today he's played flawlessly has

hit every shot don't precise about when he got in trouble managing himself well

showing a lot of class a lot of game like ups and Brian Harman playing like

he does this every day he's never made the cut in a US Open he ends with a par

he shoots 67 and he leads by one over three

I'm just I'm very grateful I'm doing what I love to do I feel so blessed and

I'm just just really grateful so you know I'm excited for the opportunity and

I'll see what's more brace if this US Open looked to be setting up as a

breakthrough stage for a new star there was no disputing that of all the young

players to emerge at Aaron hills brooks kepco had looked as strong as any of

them kefka for birdie he's got it puts him in a share of the

lead and for Kefka on Saturday his clean play on the second line again proved to

be a difference this is what power looks like folks this guy with his Arnold

Palmer arms just letting it eat oh my gosh that's so impressive giving him an

aggregate 10-under bogey-free score in the backpack wash coming down Saturday

you know to play well in the back nine I thought was really important you know

you can lead into Sunday you know having some confidence and there was nicely

played a while all week overall Kefka had 12 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18

greens in regulation for a 68 giving him just one shot behind Harmon and tied

with the red-hot Justin Thomas and Tommy Fleetwood with Rickie Fowler just one

shot back all of them looking to be at the top of the heap when the last player

hold out on Sunday I mean there's a leaderboard in every hole I mean it's

hard not to see where you're at and I just remember thinking every time I saw

well that's just not quite good enough and that's how I felt no matter what I

did it was just never quite good enough so every time I saw when I was like

alright well you need to one-up and on these guys you need to keep making

birdies everyone's making birdies go out there keep doing what you're doing and

you know you've got one day left to win a US Open so just give it your all you

would need the round of his life to make it happen Sunday at the US Open is

always Father's Day a fitting occasion for some of the best golfers in the

world to go after a title that transcends generations yeah ma man he's

one of my best friends he's how I get away from from the game

we do a bunch of fishing and hunt together and he's everything to me he's

a he's meant everything in my life and in

my game I wouldn't be where I am today without him we've shared a lot of

memories um we've been fortunate that a lot of them have been good so I'm just

hoping to continue to add to the good ones for both of us and for him he was a

proper he was a prophet at that looked to come and watch everything so I'm it's

been a massive role model and I must have figure in my life and he still is

the leader board of the 2017 US Open at Aaron Hills was crowded as the final day

of play began in Wisconsin we came into Sunday with no clear-cut favorite to win

that championship you think Ricky Fowler cuz he's the biggest name you think

Justin Thomas cuz he just went crazy on Saturday but it was absolutely wide open

now 18 holes remained for one player to emerge and among those looking to seize

the opportunity of a lifetime was Brooks koepka

who had long been benefiting on the tour from his close friendship with the man

who'd won this championship a year earlier

Dustin Johnson you know it's interesting when you watch you know the close

friends win majors or win golf tournaments when DJ won the US Open I

was extremely happy for him but I also had a sense of why am I not doing this

like what what's the issue here yeah I was really jealous that I think that's

the best way to put it I was really jealous that he won the golf tournament

I didn't I felt like I could have so I guess it made after a while just kind of

adds the field of the fire having missed the cut Johnson called his

buddy on the eve of the final round to offer some advice he called me he just

said you know hey buddy you know this is yours

you got it nobody's playing better yeah she's gone win go win yourself a major

and he knew he knew what I needed I remember that phone call for a while

it was it was really cool and from the start it looked like kepco was ready to

do just what his friend told him to I was hitting the ball really well I was

putting it really well short game was right on point you combine all of that

and it's just pure confidence that's kind of what it felt like I was here one

thing one thing only you know wasn't I got it and as the wins in Wisconsin

started to take up contenders started to fall off the first was Justin Thomas

after his historic 63 on Saturday from the outset it was clear sunday would be

a very different story for the young American he bogeyed three of his first

five holes to take himself out of contention

well we repeatedly hear how hard it is to follow a great round up this could

not get it going today I was excited for today I felt very comfortable I mean I

was obviously playing a lot more difficult so I mean I gave it all I had

I felt like it was the lowest I could've shot I mean I just didn't just didn't

have it today now fleetwood for birdie and a share of

the lead tell me Fleetwood birdied his second hole but immediately followed

that with three bogeys over his next six he's going right at it you let go maybe

miss hit it enough oh that it's no good at all a chance for birdie on that par-3

9th gave him a real shot to end his front nine on a good note a beautiful

shot by Fleetwood closest we've seen in a long time

but he'd be on the outside looking in for the rest of the day and yesterday I

played great today my game wasn't quite there but still you know I got it round

in level par I had to scrap a little bit for it and it's a bit softer today but

you know I felt felt fine next time whenever that comes that I've played

well enough to get myself in contention I know that inside myself I feel fine

Tyler meanwhile hung tough on the front bird eing the first hole and then off

setting a bogey on five with another birdie on seven shooting a 35 keeping

him right in the mix with nine holes to play Harmon the leader coming into the

day stayed consistent with eight pars one I gotta tell you and he made the

turn with a real shot at the championship

and then there was kefka who started his Sunday with back-to-back birdies you

know to go birdie-birdie Jesus you know the nerves I guess a little bit of

nothing not that I really had any nerves it was just more of a confidence thing I

guess you could say it was okay birdie birdie

let's go let's get this thing rollin Brooks koepka

co-leader at 8 the hole for the long ways away was a big one there then came

his third birdie of the day on eight sole possession of the lead at 14-under

par and he finished his front nine is the new leader of the championship it's

just ahead of Harmon I was already clicking and I already

knew what I was there for mentally I felt like I was in a good place I felt

like you know somebody already told me early in the week I couldn't do

something so I had my mind set on what I was gonna do and what I wanted to do

physically I felt like I was in better shape than everyone there to make the

turn be like alright you're in control you're in the driver's seat is is it's a

fun way to play the back nine

but there was also another contender who'd been steadily gaining all weekend

Japan's hideki Matsuyama oh oh and that's how you draw up Sunday it was

like he had nothing to lose like he was like okay I'm gonna come out here and go

for it the deck umass Fiamma really battled

back I mean he showed a lot I thought that we considering how much he

struggled in the opening round Matsuyama started strong on the front

nine

oh my goodness what a shot that's the yeah boys the string and stops it for a

Kimmy he birdied 1 4 & 5 leaving him with a 34 8 under overall heading into

the background and there you dookied oh

this is the guy you may want to pay attention to the number four ranked

player in the world hideki Matsuyama he is making a charge in the highest ranked

player left in the field gotta have it and gets it Matsuyama is five birdies on

the back nine and 12 under finish put pressure on the leader as Brooks kept

got started to waver

and on 13 things got really interesting 13 was the key I felt when he missed the

green to the right and it appeared he was leaking a little oil with the lead

at the US Open and he chipped it up eight or ten feet short not a great

pitch shot

but when he drained that putt it was a signal of things to come and with Brooks

kept you in or lose I mean it all came down to that pot on 13 that's the real

reason why I felt like I had so much momentum I mean I feel like it was a US

Open a par saves sometimes just as good as buried

with Ricky Fowler continuing to struggle to hit greens

Brian Harman fading with back-to-back bogeys

Matsuyama only able to make up so much ground there was never a better time for

Kepler to catch fire third shot for our leader Brooks koepka he's got a

beautiful backstop behind the flag to feed the ball back it's gonna use it

crucial was that that's getting it done when you need to get it done

massive purposefulness this is a nerve Tingler sand saves this season none

bigger than that 14 under par a two-shot lead going to the toughest hole on the

golf course today you know on 15 absolutely was a shot a thing Ricky told

me that I thought it when I hit it I thought how good is this

it came out beautifully when I hit it I knew it was good you know we could cross

reaction really tell

what's kept a birdie on 15 absolutely flawless and then you're going to make

that putt was was really important

after his third straight birdie on 16 Kefka had a four shot lead on harm with

Matsuyama left in the clubhouse to watch and hope for a breakdown you know you

get the champions racing on on 17 you know walking down the fairway walking up

to the green everyone staring at you here and I still got 30 feet tell you

what that four shot leaves go down to two here in a New York minute but he's

not careful

and around the 30-footer by 4 feet by probably a little more ambitious than he

needed to be a little adrenaline that stroke and my caddie was like come on

man like you need to finish this thing off you know to make that save and keep

it clean was it was important it's the last nine holes of the US Open any

birdies three in a row all you can do is shake the guy's hand it was really

impressive he put on a display of ball striking to

hit 17 greens and the final round with the lead unbeatable doesn't look like

anything's bothering its emotions been very steady oh look at that absolutely

roasted that it's a mile down there and then we hit threw it off 18 hit it aways

down there and walking off and you know everyone's starting to cheer and you

know stand up and it was pretty cool

this for the US Open a major champion

and that has got six straight majors one by first-time champions and you can add

another at the age of 27 books Kafka as won the

US Open and he hadn't just won it he wanted by

equaling the lowest score in relation to par in the history of the US Open

Championship an incredible performers for the kid from Florida on a weekend in

Wisconsin it always becomes emotional because you've accomplished a childhood

dream that every kid I think and Brooks koepka and it gets just starting to hit

him no feeling like it a sense of achievement dreamed about it your whole

entire life that dream just came true buddy I don't know if I can describe it

in that moment it's it took me a few days to actually kind of really

understand the magnitude of the situation how big it actually was

it's honestly a weird feeling to try to explain because okay yeah this is what

you dreamed of being a little kid but if you say you're happy you're excited you

know best day of your life whatever it may be that's great but that doesn't

explain it you got to like combine all those and then it's still better than

that then you go back and I started reading all these names that are on the

trophy and all you're thinking about is all these guys have held this trophy and

that's the coolest thing ever so when you know my first major is pretty

special and it is Father's Day I didn't get him a card so I really hope this

works

might as well watch it I don't watch it at all I looked at it once sitting in

bricks I've never seen it it's weird now back to Brooks cap gun

co-leader at 8:00 yeah that was such a big pot we should rot in your mouth

contrast' he's got a hit right at the TV tower Tara

that was the best shot yeah it's probably the one that won yet really

want this for the US Open I bet I'll make this one oh I just remember

thinking like how many do I have like I've got enough fuss right I think I've

got three no that's pretty cool short versions better yeah yes argue night

there and yeah

if every age of golf has its own story it should have been no surprise that

this championship turned out to be such an indelible chapter in the rise of a

new generation in the sport and also no surprise that as the weekend went on at

golf's ultimate tests for every familiar face that faded new star is supposed to

just be on their way found themselves battling for the most

cherished prize in the game these are new names for a lot of people these are

the 20-somethings this is the next generation and they're phenomenal

players they can make a mockery of a whole and I admire what they're capable

of you know I think we saw by the end of Sunday these were some tremendous

players it was thrilling you know anywhere you looked that person had a

chance and for a kid from Florida spent his whole life dreaming about playing

his very best in the moments that mattered most it was a fantasy that

became a reality when you accomplish something you've driven your whole life

or put your whole life towards and you actually finally accomplished it I don't

think there's really a word for that

it's always gonna be my favorite you know US Open is the first time I played

a tour event the first time you know I actually clinched my PGA Tour card the

first time I want to major it's gonna be special to me for the rest of my life

the US Open Championship came to the heartland in 2017 and Brooks Kepler

walked away his golf's newest star