US PGA Championship – Story of the final round
Extraordinary performances by Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods will both be remembered.
Brooks Koepka held off a thrilling challenge from Tiger Woods to join one of the most exclusive clubs in golf with a nerveless victory in the 100th US PGA Championship.
Koepka carded a closing 66 in a breathless final round at Bellerive Country Club to finish 16 under par and two shots ahead of Woods, joining the runner-up, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win the US Open and US PGA in the same season.
After becoming the first player in 29 years to win back-to-back US Open titles at Shinnecock Hills in June, Koepka has now won three of his last six major starts, a wrist injury having forced him to sit out the Masters in April.
But the final US PGA to be staged in August will also be remembered for an extraordinary performance by Woods, who threatened to complete one of the greatest sporting comebacks in history by claiming a 15th major title and first since 2008.
Tweet of the day
Last year’s winner Justin Thomas was impressed with Brooks Koepka’s strength when lifting the Wanamaker Trophy, saying on Twitter: “He lifted that thing a lot easier than I did last year. Congrats BK! What a performance.”
Shot of the day
Koepka followed a birdie on the 15th with what he described as a “laser” four iron to the par-three 16th to set up another birdie and restore a two-shot cushion.
Round of the day
Koepka may have lifted the trophy, but Woods equalled the lowest round of the day with a 64 which was achieved despite not hitting a single fairway on the front nine.
Quote of the day
“I was in contention in the last two major championships and I would never have foreseen that a year ago.” – Tiger Woods reflects on his remarkable return after spinal fusion surgery.
Stat of the day
The Golf Channel’s Justin Ray highlights how impressive the performance of Woods was at Bellerive, tweeting: “Tiger Woods: 266, lowest total score of his major championship career. 64 is his lowest ever final round score in a major.”
The sixth and 10th holes played as the joint toughest in the final round, the par-three sixth to an average of 3.35 and the par-four 10th to an average of 4.35.
Remarkably, there were also joint easiest holes, with the par-five eighth playing to an average of 4.650 thanks to 32 birdies and just four bogeys and the par-four 11th playing to an average of 3.650 after two eagles and 29 birdies.
On the slide
Rory McIlroy’s mood after the downbeat four-time major winner admitted his game had “regressed” from earlier in the season. McIlroy has now gone four years without a major win.
On the up
The chances of Tiger Woods winning a 15th major or more after he proved his performance in the Open at Carnoustie was not a one-off.
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