Koepka has been tipped for the top since winning three tournaments on the Challenge Tour in 2013 to earn instant promotion to the European Tour, but the third win was in serious danger of never happening. Hideki Matsuyama shot 66 but started too far back. "It really got to me is all I can say".
"I feel really good about just about everything else", Spieth said. The average winning score there was a -2.5 prior to that.
But he had to settle for a tie for second with Harman, four strokes back of the champion.
"At the beginning of this year, I felt I needed to win multiple times and a major", Koepka said. "Came up a little short", Matsuyama told reporters through an interpreter.
"I'm glad a qualified and was able to play".
Matsuyama watched the finish on television in the clubhouse. Nicklaus knows that. He just felt the U.S. Open was different from the other majors.
Koepka also became the seventh consecutive first-time victor in a men's Major, and he is the youngest of the seven by a few months.
Stricker was rolling down the back end of the back nine, with three birdies between the 14th and 17th holes. When he pushed a 30-foot birdie try on No. 12 a full 12 feet past the hole, he set himself up for bogey. As Harman began to fade, Koepka poured it on with birdies over the next three holes, lightly pumping his fist after each one.
"Maybe something happens in the next couple of months, win something to get into it for next year", Els added.
The 47-year-old South African has played in just about every imaginable condition over a 23-year PGA Tour career. Koepka had been on the punishing Challenge Tour schedule, taking in events from Kazakhstan to Kenya.
Brooks Koepka's globe-trotting golfing odyssey landed on a fairway to heaven at the US Open on Sunday (Monday in Manila) as he celebrated a brilliant first major victory. Unable to get up and down Harman bogeyed to leave Koepka clear on 13 under. "It's been a good ride", the popular Els said while signing autographs for fans.
Before last week, only two players in U.S. Open history had ever finished at double digits under par. But the low scoring went much deeper than that. There used to be such a thing as a U.S. Open-type player. McIlroy and Tiger Woods (12 under at Pebble Beach in 2000) had been the only players to finish there. Great playing. Schauffele was among seven players who finished at 10 under or better. That is, as long as you were resilient, tough-as-nails, and patient. "The shots he hit down the stretch, you can't describe how hard some of them are", Fleetwood said of his playing partner.
Justin Thomas, who shot a 9-under 63 on Saturday - a record in relation to par - to reach Sunday's final pairing while in a second-place tie with Koepka and Fleetwood, struggled in the final round with a 3-over 75 and tied for ninth at 280.
Champion Koepka finished 16 under for the tournament, a joint-US Open record held alongside McIlroy. This was Schaffler's second U.S. Open; he competed a year ago but failed to make the cut.