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Originally published Monday, June 19, 2017 at 05:55a.m.

ERIN, Wisconsin (AP) – Brooks Koepka traveled around the world to find his game. He found stardom right at home as the U.S. Open champion.

Koepka broke away from a tight pack with three straight birdies on the back nine Sunday at Erin Hills and closed with a 5-under 67 to win the U.S. Open for his first major championship. A par on the final hole tied Rory McIlroy's record score to par at 16 under for a four-shot victory.

Not even the wind could stop the onslaught of low scores at Erin Hills.

And nothing could stop Koepka.

Tied for the lead with six holes to play, Koepka made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole. As Brian Harman began to fade, Koepka poured it on with birdies over the next three holes, lightly pumping his fist after each one.

His reaction was subdued, just like his close friend and last year's U.S. Open champion, Dustin Johnson.

It capped quite a journey for the 27-year-old Floridian.

Without a card on any tour when Koepka got out of Florida State, he filled his passport with stamps from the most unlikely outposts in golf while playing the minor leagues on the European Tour — Kazakhstan and Kenya, Portugal and India and throughout Europe.

It was at the U.S. Open three years ago when Koepka tied for fourth that helped earn a PGA Tour card, and he powered his way from obscurity to his first Ryder Cup team last fall and now a major champion.

Harman's chances ended with two straight bogeys, and a bogey on the par-5 18th hole gave him a 72 and a tie for second with Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who closed with a 66. Matsuyama didn't need to stick around very long. Koepka simply couldn't miss.

He became the seventh straight first-time winner of a major championship, and it was the first time since 1998-2000 that Americans won their national championship three straight years.

List of U.S. Open Champions

x-won playoff

y-won on second hole of sudden death after playoff

z-won on first hole of sudden death after playoff

2017 — Brooks Koepka

2016 — Dustin Johnson

2015 — Jordan Spieth

2014 — Martin Kaymer

2013 — Justin Rose

2012 — Webb Simpson

2011 — Rory McIlroy

2010 — Graeme McDowell

2009 — Lucas Glover

2008 — z-Tiger Woods

2007 — Angel Cabrera

2006 — Geoff Ogilvy

2005 — Michael Campbell

2004 — Retief Goosen

2003 — Jim Furyk

2002 — Tiger Woods

2001 — y-Retief Goosen

2000 — Tiger Woods

1999 — Payne Stewart

1998 — Lee Janzen

1997 — Ernie Els

1996 — Steve Jones

1995 — Corey Pavin

1994 — y-Ernie Els

1993 — Lee Janzen

1992 — Tom Kite

1991 — x-Payne Stewart

1990 — z-Hale Irwin

1989 — Curtis Strange

1988 — x-Curtis Strange

1987 — Scott Simpson

1986 — Ray Floyd

1985 — Andy North

1984 — x-Fuzzy Zoeller

1983 — Larry Nelson

1982 — Tom Watson

1981 — David Graham

1980 — Jack Nicklaus

1979 — Hale Irwin

1978 — Andy North

1977 — Hubert Green

1976 — Jerry Pate

1975 — x-Lou Graham

1974 — Hale Irwin

1973 — Johnny Miller

1972 — Jack Nicklaus

1971 — x-Lee Trevino

1970 — Tony Jacklin

1969 — Orville Moody

1968 — Lee Trevino

1967 — Jack Nicklaus

1966 — x-Billy Casper

1965 — x-Gary Player

1964 — Ken Venturi

1963 — x-Julius Boros

1962 — x-Jack Nicklaus

1961 — Gene Littler

1960 — Arnold Palmer