Sunday, August 12, 2018
ST. LOUIS Brooks Koepka is impossible to overlook now, winning the PGA Championship on Sunday with machine-like precision to go along with his back-to-back U.S. Open titles.
And it still felt like he was the second billing to Tiger Woods.
With roars for Woods unheard anywhere this side of Augusta National, Koepka kept his cool and ran off two birdies on the back nine at Bellerive right after Woods closed within one shot. Koepka closed with a 4-under 66 for a two-shot victory, making him only the fifth player to win the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year.
Even with two bogeys, Woods shot 64 for his lowest final round in a major. It was his seventh runner-up finish.
“I played hard,” Woods said. “I made a bit of a run. It looks like I’m going to come up a little short.”
Koepka was responsible for that.
After wasting one chance to put it away, Koepka ran kept attacking flags and ran in birdie putts of 10 feet on No. 15 and 7 feet on No. 16 to end the drama. He tapped in for par on the final hole to set the PGA Championship scoring record at 264.
It also tied the major championship record that Henrik Stenson set at Royal Troon two years ago in the British Open.
Adam Scott hung around by making big putts, just like he hoped, and was tied for the lead until Koepka’s birdies. They both missed 6-foot birdies on the 17th, and Scott had to settle for third when he bogeyed the final hole for a 67.
The St. Louis fans waited 17 years to see Woods, and he delivered a performance that took golf back in time.
Without hitting a fairway on the front nine, Woods cut the four-shot deficit to two. Dialed in on the back nine, he hit his approach to a foot on the 15th hole to get within one shot. Koepka heard it all and answered with great shots of his own, finally converting the birdies to pull away.