ERIN, Wis. – Brian Harman is relatively new to the cauldron of major championship pressure, and he offered a blunt assessment after he was unable to keep pace with Brooks Koepka during the final round of the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
“It bites a little bit right now,” Harman said.
Harman started the day with a one-shot lead over three players, and he still held a share of the lead with Koepka with seven holes to go. But Harman bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13 were followed by Koepka birdies on Nos. 14-16, and his title chances quickly faded.
After closing with another bogey, Harman signed for an even-par 72 that left him tied for second alongside Hideki Matsuyama, four shots behind Koepka who closed with a 67.
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“I was pretty content making pars on the front nine, because I knew the kind of day it was,” Harman said. “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, he did it today.”
Harman won last month at the Wells Fargo Championship, and he was looking to become the first left-handed player to win the U.S. Open. While his runner-up easily eclipsed his T-26 finish at the 2014 Open Championship for his best-ever major finish, Harman still felt the sting of letting a major title slip away down the stretch.
“I don’t believe in moral victories. I had an opportunity today and I didn’t get it done,” Harman said. “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.”