A year ago, Johnson called him on the eve of the final round to offer advice.
"That was miserable", Johnson grumbled.
It was a pyrrhic victory for the 48-year-old star who was trying to add a U.S. Open title at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club before his best days are done.
With the win, Koepka become the first player to win back-to-back U.S. Opens since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989.
The best players in the world were no match for a Shinnecock Hills course that even the USGA conceded got out of hand Saturday. I feel for the membership, because I know many of them. "Seven-over usually is a awful score, but with the greens the way they got this afternoon, they were very, very hard".
Dustin Johnson surrendered a four-shot lead to fall into a four-way tie atop the US Open leaderboard as Shinnecock Hills again battered the world's best golfers on Saturday. They sit at 3-over 213, just the fourth time in the past half century that the 54-hole leaders were over par.
With scores fluctuating on a round-by-round basis, Johnson's differential between the second and third round was 10 shots - 67 on day two followed by a 77 yesterday. His worst Open round ever in his career. Mickelson hasn't had a lot of luck at the U.S. Open, the only major tournament he hasn't won.
"I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that", Mickelson said, explaining he preferred the 2-stroke penalty to having to play the ball from off the green.
Players faced constantly changing wind speeds on Thursday, and the combination of the strong wind and bright sunshine dried out the greens.
And yet, DJ was nearly flawlessly ideal in the first two rounds with his tournament-leading 69-67.
He did the same thing at Augusta a few months ago, but it was a different scenario when he started that final round with a three-shot lead. Berger struck an ominous tone after signing his card.
"I don't want to say I didn't think I could do it", Koepka said.
"I'm not sure I could possibly comment without using words which shouldn't be seen. just like some of those pins", Poulter tweeted. He also mentioned there were 6-7 putts that could have rolled off the greens. If he continues that trend and shoots 70 on Sunday, he could be looking for the third leg of the slam at Carnoustie. Koepka made only two birdies in a hard-earned round of 72, leaving him in position to become the first back-to-back victor of the US Open since Curtis Strange in 1989.
Davis told Golf Channel he would have liked a mulligan, the same word he used almost a month ago when discussing the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills when the seventh green wouldn't hold shots and had to be lightly sprayed with water between groups. An hour later, USGA setup man Mike Davis entered the media center to offer a mea culpa.
"I feel my game is made for championship golf", said the extremely long-hitting Finau, who believes he is developing a complete, all-round game.
He never left, meaning by Sunday's final round he'd been stomping around the grounds for two full weeks.
There were five rounds at or under par the whole day, and none of them teed off after 11:08 a.m. "It's just hard. It's brutal". His playing partner, Scott Piercy, fared worse with a 79.
"Of course it's disappointing, but at the same time - to finish in the top 10 my last three majors, and to have a chance to really win all three of them and to close one off, it means a lot", Reed told Golf Digest.