Commentary

Capturing the U.S. Open

Originally Published: June 17, 2017
By Ty Wenger | ESPN.com

Brooks KoepkaAP Photo/Charlie RiedelBrooks Koepka walked away with this year's U.S. Open -- then walked away with the trophy.

All the talk entering the 117th U.S. Open was about the super-long course (7,800 yards) and super-tall rough (we could lose Brian Harman in there and never find him again). But when the flying fescue had settled and the world's best golfers had finished surgically dissecting Erin Hills, all that remained was one first-time winner, two historic scoring records and a whole bunch of golfers under par. Here, in vivid technicolor, are the moments that made the 2017 U.S. Open.

Dustin JohnsonRichard Heathcote/Getty ImagesDustin Johnson walks from the tee box of his first hole in the first round of the U.S. Open, on his way to a 75-73 that would leave him three shots outside the cut line.

Jason DayRichard Heathcote/Getty ImagesThe opening day began with blue skies and high hopes for Jason Day. A first-round 79 doomed his prospects; a second-round 75 sealed them.

William McGirtGeoff Burke/USA TODAY SportsWilliam McGirt reacts to a missed birdie putt during his U.S. Open first round. On a day in which 44 players broke par, missed birdies were a minor tragedy.

Graeme McdowellAP Photo/David J. PhillipGraeme McDowell, who would go on to miss the cut by four strokes, reacts to his approach shot flying over the 15th green during the first round.

Brooks KoepkaAndrew Redington/Getty ImagesBrooks Koepka plays his shot from a fairway bunker on the fourth hole during the second round. He would shoot 70 on the day -- on his way to four straight under-par rounds.

Matt KucharRichard Heathcote/Getty ImagesMatt Kuchar lets the crowd know his tee shot on 14 is heading right during the second round. He's polite like that.

Paul CaseyGeoff Burke/USA TODAY SportsPaul Casey watches his shot from the 18th fairway during the second round. Casey would finish the day tied for the lead, despite building a snowman on the par-5 14th.

Jon RahmAP Photo/David J. PhillipJon Rahm lost control of his emotions several times during the second round, on his way to missing the cut by four strokes. Here, on the fourth hole, he also lost control of his club.

Patrick ReedAP Photo/David J. PhillipPatrick Reed reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 18th hole during the third round. He would go on to finish the U.S. Open in a tie for 13th.

Justin ThomasAndrew Redington/Getty ImagesJustin Thomas waits to putt for eagle on his final hole Saturday. Thomas would sink the putt to card a 9-under 63, setting a new U.S. Open record for low round in relation to par.

Tommy FleetwoodAP Photo/A Charlie RiedelTommy Fleetwood, of England, hits from the 13th tee during the third round. Fleetwood would card a 68 on the day on his way to a fourth-place finish.

Sergio GarciaAP Photo/David J. PhillipSergio Garcia was looking to win the first two legs of the 2017 Grand Slam. Instead, on Sunday, he found himself looking at golf balls in places he did not want them to be. He finished tied for 21st.

Justin ThomasEPA/TANNEN MAURYJustin Thomas plays from the fescue on the fifth hole during Sunday's final round. After a record-setting 63 Saturday, he regressed to the mean Sunday, carding a 65.

Rickie FowlerAP Photo/David J. PhillipRickie Fowler walks to the 10th tee during the final round. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride (what bride would wear orange on Sunday, after all), Fowler contended yet again at a major, but settled for a tie for fifth.

Brian HarmanGregory Shamus/Getty ImagesAt 5-foot-7, Brian Harman is not a tall man. But it's the size of fight in the dog -- and this dog had enough fight to finish tied for second, at 12-under par.

Brooks KoepkaJamie Squire/Getty ImagesAs Brooks Koepka waited to play his tee shot on the 15th hole during Sunday's final round, the strain of the history was seemingly lost on him.

Brooks KoepkaEPA/TANNEN MAURYKoepka reacts after sinking his final putt to win the US Open. Koepka equaled the all-time U.S. Open scoring record by finishing 16-under, tying the mark set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional Country Club in 2011.

Brooks KoepkaJamie Squire/Getty ImagesBrooks Koepka plants a smacker on the U.S. Open trophy. Fun fact: Koepka is now the seventh straight first-time winner of a golf major. Experience, apparently, is overrated.

Ty Wenger

ESPN Editor

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