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Home : Golf NewsBack to News

Harmon, Matsuyama and Fowler speak

 

Three of Brooks Koepke's closest rivals in Sunday's final round of the US Open, have spoken about their experiences. Here they are:

BRIAN HARMON

Brian Harman, the US PGA Tour journeyman and World No 50 who came so close to a fairytale major win at the US Open on Sunday is finding it difficult to forgive himself for a couple of crucial missed putts on Sunday.

The 30-year dark horse who led the world-class field by a shot when he teed off on Sunday and who still shared the lead in the neck and neck race at the turn, having given nothing away, blew himself out of the water coming down the final stretch with two back-to-back bogies at about the same time that Koepke was chalking up three birdies in a row - and that was that. There was no way back

"It bites a little bit right now," Harman remarked. "I had a couple get away from me yesterday. I was playing so good but just missed a couple putts."

Koepka's birdie charge, he said, "Was kind of lights out.

"I was pretty content making pars on the front nine because I knew the kind of day it was (a stiff wind was blowing).

"I mean, you've got to tip your cap. He went and won the golf tournament on the back nine. I've done it before, but he did it today."

Yet, while praising Koepka's heroics, Harman admitted that defeat was hard to take and in his eyes, his joint second place finish offered no encouragement for the future.

"My first response to that is I don't believe in moral victories," he said. "I had an opportunity today and I didn't get it done.

"But at the same time, I don't feel as though I lost a golf tournament. I think Brooks went out and won the tournament. I'm just going to keep trying to do what I'm good at and keep doing what I know how to do and we'll see where that takes me."

HIDEKI MATSUYAMA

The Japanese golfer believes his closing low round of the day 65 and his joint second place tie with Harmon at the US Open on Sunday has taken him a step closer to his dream of winning a major.

The world No 4's stunning round contained eight birdies and two bogeys but ultimately it was not enough to reel in the leader.

Matsuyama, who also shot a second round 65, ultimately paid the price for a wayward opening 74 on Thursday and a faltering second round 71.

"If I learned anything, you've got to put four good rounds together," Matsuyama told reporters afterwards.

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

"No regrets, I did play well. Just came up a little short."

Matsuyama has now posted top 10 finishes in each of the four majors he's played in and says this week's experience will help inspire his preparations ahead of next month's Open Championship and PGA Championship in August.

"I learned a lot this week," he said. "Hopefully, though, in the future, in majors, I can play in the either last or next to the last group to give myself a better chance.

"But I'm happy with the way I played, and it gives me confidence going forward."

RICKIE FOWLER

Rickie Fowler steadfastly refuses to allow himself to be downcast by his inability to win a major while so many other young Turks of his age and talent, namely Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, have all been able to pull it off

His level-par 72 in the final round at Erin Hills on Sunday cost him. It was simply not good to put Fowler in contention, leaving him tied for fifth with Bill Haas and Xander Schauffele at 10 under and six off the pace.

"I feel like golf-wise I'm playing at the highest level," said Fowler after his seventh top 10 finish in a major.

"If you look at the negatives too much, you're going to be stuck doing that the whole time.

"You have to measure success in different ways, not just by winning.

"You kind of have to say, 'Hey, it's a major.'"

"Even though the scores were somewhat lower than a normal US Open, to finish in double digits, under par at a major championship, especially the Open, makes it a good week."

Fowler said that Koepka's victory, the seventh major in a row won by a first-timer, was good for the game.

"I think it's a great thing. You saw the leaderboard this weekend going into today. There was a lot of new blood; young guys," Fowler said.

"Kind of some of the younger crew is coming in. I'm not saying the older guys are out by any means, but I think we're making our presence felt a little more."

Neville Leck

Please email questions or concern to neville@golfweather.com.

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