US Open snippets from fourth round at Erin Hills

Lynette Rowe
June 19, 2017

Winning the U.S. Open is something he has thought about many times, the 26-year-old from Southport said.

Thomas followed Saturday's record-setting nine-under par 63 with a three-over 75 to finish eight shots back.

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. The shot carried 284 yards from the tee and then trickled back to about four feet from the flag during Justin Thomas' historic third round. "Looking forward to the next two days". "I just think Brooks went out and won the tournament".

Koepka parred the final two holes to tie the U.S. Open's 72-hole scoring record (in relation to par). "This will make up for the card that I didn't get him", he joked. It's been set up very fair and Thomas isn't the only player to prove good shots can be rewarded. But a par at 13, Koepka admitted afterward, meant even more. "I guess it's rare you get through a U.S. Open or any major without some kind of a hiccup".

"If you had told me I was going to shoot 12-under this year at a U.S. Open and not win, I would have taken the bet for sure", he said. There were five after Saturday's round.

Thomas' round consisted of one eagle, nine birdies and two bogeys.

"This is my first time in contention in a major, so whatever happens I'll be doing my best and seeing how well I can finish".

Greg Norman and Vijay Singh are the only golfers to record two rounds of 63 in the majors. The broad fairways here and enormous length (7,741 yards, longest in a major championship) allowed them to show their power and raw if sometimes not quite polished gifts. He's always been a solid player, and I think now he is starting to realize he's got what it takes.

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On the last day of the U.S. Open, Hideki Matsuyama was better than everyone else. But I'm just so excited to give myself a great chance to win this golf tournament.

"And I felt confident all week, so to feel as confident as I did on a Sunday of a major and coming down the stretch was pretty neat".

Brooks Koepka had the lead until he turned a birdie chance into a bogey on the par-5 first hole after making the turn.

South Korea's Kim Si-Woo was one behind Fowler on nine under after also shooting 68, while three players - Patrick Reed, Russell Henley and Charley Hoffman were on eight under.

After pars at 16 and 17, Fleetwood dropped into a second-place tie following a bogey on 18 when his fourth shot rolled off the back of the green.

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

Sentiment and nostalgia will always find a place on the leaderboard, as 37-year-old Sergio Garcia showed by notching his first major win at the Masters in April, while 50-year-old Wisconsin-native Steve Stricker provided an emotional touchstone in an Erin Hills swan-song. He won the next day to graduate to the European Tour. Harman made a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole to hold off Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez by a stroke. A birdie at the 16th brought him within 3 strokes, but that was as close as he would get. I was thinking if you can get 4 or 5-under par today, it would be a pretty good score to get yourself in the golf tournament.

Speaking of an early-season slump this year, Koepka said, "I was grinding all day every day, in the gym every day".

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