Brooks Koepka made a piece of history at Pebble Beach this week. Just not the piece he was hoping for.
The 29-year-old’s bid to become the first golfer since 1905 to win the US Open three years on the spin was denied by an inspired Gary Woodland, who sealed his first major victory. Instead, Koepka had to settle for second – becoming the first player ever to break 70 in all four rounds of the US Open and not win.
However, he was far from despondent.
“It doesn't sting,” said Koepka. “I played great. Nothing I could do. I gave it my all. I give it my all every time and sometimes, like this week - it happened at Augusta, too - it's not meant to be. I played great. I hit every shot that I wanted to. And sometimes no matter how good your good is it isn't there.
“Gary played a great four days. That's what you've got to do if you want to win a US Open, win a major championship, and hats off to him. He deserves it, he's worked hard and I'm happy for him.”
Four-time major champion Koepka has now gone 1, T2, 1, 2 in his last four majors – an incredible record that has firmly established him as the world’s No1 player. And though his bid to emulate Scotland’s Willie Anderson as a US Open three-peater came up just short, he said he was just pleased to have had the chance to try.
“It was awesome to come this close to going three in a row,” he said. “It's incredible. Anytime you can compete in a major is special and to have a chance to go back-to-back-to-back, that was pretty cool.
"I didn't really think about it until I was done on 18 and realised how close I actually was to kind of, I guess, not making history, but kind of tying it. It was cool.”
Next up for Koepka is the Travelers Championship this week ahead of next month’s Open Championship.
The year's final major, of course, takes place at Royal Portrush and he has got every reason to fancy his chances of lifting the Claret Jug given the secret weapon he has at his disposal.
“I've never been to Ireland but my caddie, it's his hometown, so I'm looking forward to it.”