"So, when you get to Saturday and Sunday, you've got to see how you react and how you feel".
Brooks Koepka received a short piece of advice from a valuable source on the eve of the final round at the U.S. Open.
He remembers taking a phone call and receiving the best advice he's ever got: "Stick it out".
"He told me 'Just stay patient".
"I mean, you've got to tip your cap".
The reviews of Erin Hills, with the tournament was complete, were largely positive.
He closed with a 5-under 67, only realizing after his par on the final hole that a birdie would have set yet another U.S. Open record in a week filled with them.
One shot behind going into the final round, Koepka didn't miss a green until the par-3 13th - the only one he missed in the final round - and he saved par with an 8-foot putt that might have been more meaningful than the three straight birdie putts that followed.
Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood were also tied with Koepka after the second round.
"There's a big couple of months coming up and I feel like my game is in decent condition. It's truly an honor", Koepka said.
Erin Hills never quite shaped up as the exacting, U.S. Open-type course it could have been. He earned $2.16 million, his nation's championship and the comfort of knowing the far-flung trips to Kenya and Kazakhstan and India and beyond are all in the rearview mirror. "And to win on the European Tour in Turkey". Previous year in Oakmont, Dustin Johnson won the major with a -4 overall after 72 holes.
The 26-year-old said: "I felt really comfortable on Saturday with the way I was playing". Since Jason Day lifted the 2015 PGA Championship, every Major championship has been won by a first-timer.
Tommy Fleetwood, the 26-year-old Brit who was paired with victor Koepka, finished 11-under after shooting a final-round 72, said he learned immensely from his U.S. Open experience. "Obviously, Brooks dealt with it amazingly". He came and kicked everyone's [behind] over there, didn't he? "Now he's done it in a major".
Meanwhile, it was a record-breaking week at Erin Hills. It was long - the longest in U.S. Open history - and the fescue lining the fairways was brutal. But the low scoring went much deeper than that. McIlroy and Tiger Woods (12 under at Pebble Beach in 2000) had been the only players to finish there.
Four other players are tied for 10th on seven under.
278: Xander Schauffele (66-73-70-69), Bill Haas (72-68-69-69), Rickie Fowler (65-73-68-72).
Take the shots one at a time, Johnson told him. He was only two behind when he made the turn, but bogeys on the 12th and 15th holes - and no birdies until No. 18 - ended his hopes. "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, just because that doesn't happen a whole lot".
Justin Thomas went where no player has gone before in the U.S. Open. I felt [Saturday] I played great.
"I've played 25 of them, and if I play another great".
He achieved the feat in record-tying fashion on Sunday, shooting 16-under par for the tournament and saving his best golf for the back nine.