Varner shot a 67 to move into a tie for second, seven shots behind Brooks Koepka. "Today was definitely the most satisfying for how stressful that round was, how stressful DJ made that. This was, by far, the most stressful".
Koepka took a tournament-record seven-shot lead into the final round at Bethpage and was still six clear with eight to play, only to bogey four holes in succession and see Dustin Johnson close to within a single shot.
No man has led a major by so much so late and lost.
"I'm just glad I don't have to play any more holes", Koepka told reporters. "I just didn't play well enough".
"I'm feeling a bit bruised and battered but I have to say, the game is okay and I'm looking forward to the next few weeks". But just had to reset.
NY fans are notorious for turning on favourites when they falter and Koepka proved no exception, fans calling out "DJ" to add tension to every blunder.
"It's New York. What do you expect when you're half-choking it away?"
"The biggest thing for me was finding the time to keep your game at the level it needs to be at", he said. I've been to sporting events in NY.
"I know for a fact, that was the most excited I've ever been in my life ... on 18".
What he didn't anticipate is how the chants would give him something to focus upon, shake the shock and the bogeys and reboot.
'I think it actually helped. "It's just about putting it all together on the right day". I'm trying not to get too destroyed by this golf course. "It's the best I hit it all week for sure". Lee carded a one-over par 71 to drop four places into a share of 14th, only four shots behind Harold Varner III, Jazz Janewattananond, Luke List and Dustin Johnson, who are tied for second.
"It has been incredibly quick".
"I didn't convert as many chances as I would have liked but it was an improvement over the last couple days".
"I was playing good". I just made mistakes at the wrong time.
Professional golfers were met at Bethpage Black this week with a famous sign warning them about the challenges of the course.
Losing never entered his thoughts, Koepka claimed. I didn't really look for my golf ball. Sometimes that's all you've got. "He has that "f*** you" attitude", said Paul McGinley. "I mean, it would be nice to be able to make a 10 on the last hole and be OK".
"I've got Colonial next week which is going to feel like a pitch-and-putt by comparison".