Final 2019 PGA Championship leaderboardMay 19, 2019 Golf News
Catch up on all the action from the second major of the season
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The venue: Bethpage Black, Farmingdale, New York, USA
Date: May 16-19, 2019
Course stats: Par 70, 7,459 yards
Course summary: The sign warning players of its extreme difficulty isn’t just for show. It’s the hardest on the PGA Tour – long with ball grabbing rough and some tricky small greens. Hitting the fairway is imperative.
Purse: $11 million
Defending champion: Brooks Koepka (-16)
PGA Championship leaderboard 2019
PGA Championship report: What happened on Sunday at Bethpage Black?
On Saturday night Dustin Johnson bogeyed his final hole to miss out on the chance to be paired with his good friend and gym buddy Brooks Koepka in what looked like a futile attempt to overturn a huge lead.
As it was Johnson went off two groups back with Hideki Matsuyama and, from seven shots back, he made the final day a stunning affair.
Nobody of the late starters was able to make any progress other than Johnson who reached the turn in 3-under to close the gap to four shots. Other than his muscle mate it was the first time that any other player had reached the lofty heights of eight under.
No sooner had that happened than Koepka notched his second birdie at the 10th to go with Johnson’s first bogey a hole ahead and, from there, it turned into the slugfest that we’ve been waiting for all week.
Koepka’s driver had just looked like clicking into gear but three missed fairways meant three straight bogeys before he airmailed the short 14th from where he was unable to retrieve a par.
With Johnson’s fourth straight birdie at the same hole it meant the lead was down to one. After nearly four whole days of Koepka dominating his peers in brutal fashion it looked like that he might be pipped at the death.
But being close to the lead of a major brings its own troubles and few know this better than Johnson who only has one of them. He then went into reverse, unable to save par from two thick, sticky lies and the advantage was back to three.
There was even more drama to come as Koepka three-putted the penultimate hole and then went left off the final tee but, as he had done all week, he showed skill, nerve and nous to eke out a par. It is the first time a major winner has shot over par, Koepka was round in 74, in the final round since Graeme McDowell at Pebble Beach in 2010.
The win gives him four victories in his last eight major starts and his first wire-to-wire – to put the first part into some sort of context the only men in the modern era to win four or more majors in a span of eight starts are Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
For Johnson he now has the runner-up slam.
Of the others Matt Wallace broke up the American dominance with a share of third with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay while Rory McIlroy, with a pair of weekend 69s, elevated himself into a share of 8th. The win for Koepka moves him alongside McIlroy on four majors.
Harold Varner III, who played alongside Koepka in the final group, had the high round of the day, an 81, to tumble down to 36th.
Click here to read Mark Townsend’s full report from Bethpage.