Instead of a card, Koepka got his dad the U.S. Open trophy

Updated: June 18, 2017

11:01 PM ET

ERIN, Wis. — Bob Koepka was crying on the phone, and why the hell not? He was an old college pitcher out of West Virginia Wesleyan, and he had just watched his son throw a perfect game at the U.S. Open.

Coaches had long ago predicted this would happen. Brooks Koepka himself had informed his old man as a middle schooler that he would someday be big stuff on the PGA Tour, and the vision that came to be on Father’s Day at Erin Hills buckled the world’s proudest dad as he watched from his home in Atlantis, Florida.

“I just hope every father out there gets to experience something like this,” Bob Koepka said as he tried and failed to stop the flood of emotions washing over him. “I don’t even know what to say. This is the best feeling in the world.”

Bob talked to the older of his two boys Sunday morning and advised him to keep hitting greens, to keep doing exactly what he’d done to put himself in contention. Brooks assured his dad that he felt extremely confident in his chances to nail down his first major victory.

“Hey,” Bob Koepka told his boy before hanging up, “do me a favor. I need a trophy for Father’s Day. Do me a favor and bring one back.”

As Bob Koepka watched the prediction come to life, watched his boy walk up 18, he flashed back to that day a 13-year-old Brooks beat him for the club championship. That day he cried behind his sunglasses and told Brooks to enjoy the walk up to the final green.

“I thought it was his when he made his [birdie] putt at 15,” Bob said Sunday night by phone. “But when he was walking up 18, that’s when it really hit me. As a father, that felt pretty damn good.”

Brooks Koepka wasn’t about to leave the trophy in his hotel room this time. He took a two-minute pep talk from Johnson on Saturday night, a longer pep talk from his dad Sunday morning, and then played the most stunning golf of his life. His old man wanted this special Father’s Day gift badly, and Brooks couldn’t let him down.

“I didn’t get him a card,” he said, “so I really hope this works.”

The day Brooks Koepka becomes a father is the day he’ll understand just how perfectly this worked.

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