Koepka holds off Tiger to win PGA Championship

Golf News

Brooks Koepka won his 3rd major in 15 months on a fascinating final day at Bellerive, where Keel Timmins wraps up the best of the action

What happened at the PGA Championship?

Brooks Koepka held off a resurgent Tiger Woods to win the PGA Championship and secure his third major title on what was a thrilling final day at Bellerive Country Club.

In many ways, this felt like a vintage Sunday from a decade ago. Woods was rolling in putts, hitting miracle recovery shots around trees and greeting made putts with classic fist-pumps.

But for Woods, a 64 wasn’t enough. Perhaps if he was up against anyone other than the machine-like Koepka, he may well have been walking away from Bellerive with his 15th major championship, and in the process, completing arguably the greatest comeback sport has ever seen.

Somehow, it wasn’t to be. On this performance, Koepka may not be human. The 28-year-old – who successfully defended his U.S. Open title two months ago at Shinnecock Hills – looked down at one of the best leaderboards of the year on a Sunday afternoon, which was headlined by a certain Woods, and didn’t flinch.

Well, perhaps that doesn’t tell quite the whole story.

When Koepka made back-to-back bogeys on the front-nine, he reeled off three straight birdies and then played the back-nine bogey-free.

A few groups ahead, Woods was making huge moves. Draped in traditional Sunday red, Woods went out in a stunning 32 without hitting a fairway.

He eventually put that right at the 10th, and would then go on to make birdies at 12, 13 and 15 to sit just one-shot back of Koepka.

The par-5 17th was always going to be where the tournament was won or lost. When Woods sliced his drive into the creek, his fate was sealed. But that didn’t stop him from saving a miraculous par and then draining a lengthy birdie on the final hole to sign off in style.

As for Koepka – this man doesn’t show emotion. It’s generally accepted in the golfing world that, when the champion in-waiting is about to putt out for the win, they’ll mark their ball no matter the distance from the hole to take the adulation from the crowds when the ball eventually hits the bottom of the cup.

Koepka rolled his lengthy birdie effort to within a few inches and then tapped it in, as if he didn’t quite realise what it was for, or perhaps, he didn’t really care.

It was in stark contrast to Woods’s larger-than-life fist-pump on the 18th green for birdie just minutes earlier to finish solo second.

Koepka’s playing partner, Adam Scott, had a genuine chance coming up the 18th hole, but his pulled drive put the end to his chances. The Aussie’s putt for bogey and third place was the final shot of the tournament after Koepka didn’t bother to wait to tap in. Perhaps the American was rushing to catch the baseball match on TV.

Now, how many days until April 11th?

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