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Sunday, June 18, 2017

U.S. Open Highlights: Day 4

Your U.S. Open champion is Brooks Koepka

(updated 8:02 pm)
Brooks Koepka served notice early that the moment wasn't going to be too big for him. He started his round with two birdies and kept the pressure on all day, tieing a U.S. Open scoring record along the way. Today's 5-under 67 gave him a 16-under par total for the tournament. A record score relative to par now shared with Rory McIlroy. He's also the 7th first time major champion in a row.
Several players took runs at the lead, but Koepka remained within his game plan and took everything that Erin Hills threw at him today. Once Matsuyama posted 12-under, instead of feeling the pressure, Koepka appeared to just put the hammer down harder and pulled away from the field. Congratulations to U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka. They may say that Erin Hills wasn't up to the test but you certainly were.

Erin Hills impresses in the end

(updated 8:00 pm)
While Erin Hills was not the test most were hoping it would be, in the end, the course showed some potential today. With conditions drying out and the wind up, Erin Hills gave the best players in the field a solid test today. I'm sure the USGA regrets not bringing in the rough and making the driving game a greater challenge. A lesson learned for the next time. Will there be a next time? It's hard to say. We know where the next several U.S. Opens will be held. By the time Erin Hills comes back up for discussion golf may be in a very different place. Well done Erin Hills. You did well for a rookie. Maybe we'll see you again someday.

Can we admit golf has an equipment problem?

(updated 7:53 pm)

Matsuyama posts 12-under

(updated 7:00 pm)
Matsuyama played an amazing round of golf on a very difficult Erin Hills today. A round of 66 has him in the clubhouse just 2-shots off of the lead. Brian Harman is starting to show the pressure is building. Will Koepka feel the pressure and come back as well? So far he's looking solid with just 4-holes left to play.

Heading to the turn

(updated 5:35 pm)
As the leaders begin to take the turn onto the back-9 things are starting to feel more like a traditional U.S. Open. Players are being forced to just take what the course will give them. With the low round of the day currently belonging to Kuchar at 4-under, if you aren't within a few shots of the lead at this point you may be out of time unless the leaders start coming back to the field.

Current Leader Board

(updated 4:30 pm)

Koepka feeling it early

(updated 4:10 pm)
Koepka taps in for his second birdie of the day on 2 and is your U.S. Open leader. Loved the comment from his caddie prior to his pitch into the 2nd, "Stay aggressive!"

Starting to get serious

(updated 3:50 pm)
With just two groups still to begin their rounds, it's starting to get serious out there now. Matsuyama already has it to 3-under on the day to pull within 3-shots and Henley has also birdied the first to get to within 3. It's setting up to be a classic afternoon.

18-hole Playoff

(updated 3:05 pm)
A quick reminder as the leaders get ready to start: The U.S. Open retains the traditional 18-hole playoff format. It hasn't happened since Tiger Woods beat Rocco Mediate on Monday in 2008 at Torrey Pines. With such a packed leaderboard we may still be a day away from crowning our champion.

Spieth gets home in 69

(updated 2:50 pm)
Jordan Spieth has finally put together a strong round in challenging conditions at Erin Hills. 5-birdies with 2-bogeys and Spieth ends his tournament with a 3-under 69 proving that there are still scores out there even in the wind. It appears that the weather will continue to improve into the afternoon so strap in. We may see another day full of non-traditional low scores at the U.S. Open.

Els shows Erin Hills respect

(updated 2:40 pm)
It looks like we're all set up for a fun afternoon of golf. We're just over 1-hour away from the leaders now! Who will handle the wind and tricky greens to win their first major championship?

Less than 2-hours away

(updated 2:05pm)
The leaders are now less than 2-hours away from starting their round and Erin Hills continues to firm up. The winds are staying up under clearing skies. Even though most holes are playing either directly into or with the wind, the course is beginning to show its teeth. The greens are still accepting a well-struck approach but they will continue to get more difficult as the afternoon progresses. Look for the leaders to be faced with some of the most challenging golf they've seen out of Erin Hills by the time they make their turn to the back-9 later today. It's shaping up to be quite a show.

The plane is back again

(updated 1:30 pm)
After annoying fans yesterday, the advertising plane has returned today. Much of the blame is being placed on Fox Sports for the noise but it's unlikely Fox controls the airspace near the golf course. Could the area around the course have been restricted during the tournament? Some folks on Twitter think so:

Love the commemorative Arnold Palmer Flag on 18

(updated 12:20 pm)

Spieth shows some form early

(updated 1:20 pm)
Much too far back to contend this year, Jordan Spieth opened his round this morning with back-to-back birdies. He is still the low man on the course at the moment at 2-under on the day through 11 holes. Spieth was never able to find a consistent game for Erin Hills this week. With the winds up, and given the style of course that is Erin Hills, Spieth should look at today as an early practice round for his trip to Royal Birkdale next month.

Here comes Erin Hills

(updated 11:15 am)
Even though the wind will be blowing either into or against the players on most of the holes, we should see some higher scores and some nervous golfers coming down the stretch later today. This wind will dry out the greens quickly and could make the back-9 later today the type of challenge traditionalists expect from the U.S. Open. So far, though, the greens are continuing to hold.

Welcome to Sunday at the U.S. Open

(updated 11:00 am)
Happy Father's Day and welcome to Sunday at the U.S. Open! We'll be posting updates throughout the day as the tournament comes to its conclusion. As we go, the freshest content will appear at the top of the page. Other parts of the page may be updated throughout the day as well so keep an eye on those time-stamps! Enjoy the competition and thanks for stopping by From The Hazard.

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