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Golf: Japan's Matsuyama finishes 2nd at US Open

Hideki Matsuyama, of Japan, acknowledges the crowd on the 18th hole during the fourth round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

ERIN, Wisconsin (Kyodo) -- Japan's Hideki Matsuyama placed second at the U.S. Open on Sunday, tying the record for the best showing by a Japanese man at a major.

    The 25-year-old pocketed $1.05 million and moved from fourth to second in the world rankings, the highest placing ever achieved by a Japanese man.

    Matsuyama made a final day charge up the leaderboard with a 6-under 66, carding eight birdies and two bogeys for a 12-under-par 276 total around the Erin Hills course in Wisconsin.

    Matsuyama finished four strokes behind American Brooks Koepka, 27, who ended with a four-day total of 272, tying a U.S. Open low-score record.

    Matsuyama tied for second with Brian Harman of the United States who shot an even-par 72 on Sunday, giving up his 54-hole lead. The Japanese finished in fine style to secure second place, getting up and down for birdie with a chip from the rough next to the 18th green.

    "I'm satisfied with the way I played today and am happy to have placed this high, but two of the four days weren't good and I feel like I could have played better," said Matsuyama who powered a fairway wood onto the green on his second shot of the day, setting up a two-putt for an opening-hole birdie.

    Matsuyama rolled in a long putt from the fringe of the green for his second birdie of the day on four, and then hit his approach to tap-in range on the fifth for another.

    But it was on the back nine that his charge really gained steam.

    A solid approach on the par-4 11th allowed him to roll in for birdie and he repeated on the 12th to go 4-under.

    A beautifully controlled chip allowed him to tap in for birdie on 14, and after giving one back on 15, he leaned on the short stick to get within striking distance of second place on the 16th.

    Matsuyama equaled Isao Aoki's record for the best finish by a Japanese man in any of the four majors. Aoki finished second to the legendary Jack Nicklaus at the 1980 U.S. Open.

    Hisako Higuchi, winner of the LPGA Championship in 1977, remains the only Japanese golfer to win a major championship on either the PGA or LPGA tours.

    Elsewhere for Japan at the U.S. Open, Satoshi Kodaira finished in a four-way tie for 46th with a 3-over 291 total and Yusaku Miyazato, who stumbled with a final round 79 after going 72-70-76, finished 60th at 9-over.

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