Long road: Koepka's journey now includes a US Open title

Koepka's trip around the world leads to major title at home

"I'd won once on the PGA Tour, once on the European Tour", said Koepka, who climbed from 22nd in the world rankings to a career-high of 10th.

Never mind "The Home of Golf", Scotland nearly represented "The End of Golf" to Brooks Koepka.

HAIL THE KING: The 18th hole at Erin Hills had a special flag for the final round of the U.S. Open.

He won the US Open by four shots, closing with a five-under 67 at Erin Hills to triumph with a 16-under total of 272 to tie the tournament record for lowest total under par, which was set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional Country Club in 2011. Koepka takes home $2.16 million, the largest single-day earnings in golf.

"Third round I was just a little frustrated, especially after I started".

Yet Koepka revealed that his decision to launch his career in Europe, far from the support structure of family and friends in the United States, had nearly become unbearable.

"I played two good rounds, but it wasn't enough".

"I was kind of, I don't want to say homesick, it was just, exhausted of golf".

"I kept telling people past year after the Ryder Cup", Brandt Snedeker said, "when Brooks figures out how good he is, he's going to be a world beater". "I think it's really cool [going 16-under]". I don't even know what was going on.

A fourth place finish at the 2014 US Open had given Koepka a taste of what it might be like to challenge for a major. The top three finished at least 12 under at Erin Hills.

Koepka said Sunday he had been determined not to let his latest opportunity slip away.

"I scrapped a little bit for it, and it was a bit soft but I felt fine".

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"I felt confident all week and to feel as confident as I did on a Sunday of a Major and coming down the stretch was great", he said.

"That was a big plus for me".

New world No10 Koepka proved a great champion, rarely playing a bad shot all week and illustrating again just how much strength in depth golf now enjoys.

His confidence in the final round came, in part, from a short conversation the night before with Dustin Johnson, a friend who had been through his share of close calls and heartbreaks before finally becoming a major champion at the U.S. Open previous year.

"Dustin called me and told me just stay patient", Koepka added.

"For some reason I just wanted to get out and go home".

Having spent a good part of his golfing apprenticeship traveling the globe sleeping in cars and working his way up through the European minor tour, Koepka now steps into the USA sporting spotlight. "For us it was like two minutes".

Undeterred, Koepka shot rounds of 69 and 65 to win the qualifier and book his place at Muirfield, where he and Dustin Johnson - the man he would later succeed as US Open champion - played Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler in one of the game's most competitive practice round matches. "And I built a lot of confidence off of that".

By the time the tournament rolled around, Marshall too was suffering ill health in the wake of a broken hip in January, and still reeling from the loss of his wife three days before, but he was determined to still go and watch the game he loved so much.

"I did not know that. I kind of wish I'd stuck with it".

"It would have been nice".

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