Koepka clinches historic double at PGA Championship
Brooks Koepka created history with victory at the PGA Championship on Sunday as he held off a surging Tiger Woods to win his second Major of 2018.
The American became just the fifth player to win the US Open and PGA Championship in the same year and first since Woods completed the double in 2000.
Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus, all also Champion Golfers, are the other three to have lifted both trophies in a calendar year.
Woods, second at The Open at Carnoustie this year, signed for a 64 on the final day but he missed out on his first Major since 2008 by two shots.
Australian Adam Scott was third, three shots off the lead, while Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari was in a four-way tie for sixth in Missouri.
Nerveless Koepka holds on
Koepka started the final round at Bellerive Country Club with a two-shot lead and struck a four-under-par 66 to finish the weekend 16 under par.
It wasn’t all plain-sailing for the 28-year-old though as two bogeys on the front nine offered hope to his rivals, but he didn’t drop a shot on the back nine, coming home in a two-under-par 33.
And with three-time Champion Golfer of the Year Woods hitting his lowest ever final round at a major, 64, Koepka knew he had to hold his nerve.
“At the beginning of the back nine I could hear all the roars, when Tiger made his run and Scotty did," said Koepka. “It was fun and enjoyable.”
“For some reason the Majors get my attention more. Every shot is so important. You have to be patient and I always do that very well in the Majors.”
Uphill task just too much for Woods
As shown at Carnoustie, Tiger Woods still draws the crowds, and many were hoping that the PGA Championship could be his first major win in a decade.
The American was briefly atop the leaderboard at this year’s Open Championship and started the final round in Missouri four shots behind his compatriot.
I can’t thank the fans in St. Louis enough for packing the course all week and for their enthusiasm and support. It meant so much to me. pic.twitter.com/jQSkSCSYdM— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 13, 2018
The 42-year-old reached the turn three under and repeated that feat on the back nine to secure his highest finish at a major since the 2009 PGA Championship.
“I was always chasing. When I was on the range I could see guys were three under through six holes, so I knew I couldn't sit still. I had to get birdies,” he said.
“I was in contention at the last two majors and would never have foreseen that a year ago. I'm just so thankful to be here.”
Molinari continues strong form
Elsewhere, Champion Golfer of the Year Molinari continued his good form with a three-under-par final round to finish sixth alongside Belgian Thomas Pieters, Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland.
Stewart Cink, winner of The Open in 2009 at Turnberry, was tied fourth with Spaniard Jon Rahm on 11-under-par – five shots off the Koepka.
Really pleased with how I hit the ball today!— Tyrrell Hatton (@TyrrellHatton) August 12, 2018
Hitting more fairways allowed me to go at more pins 👌🏻
-6 and bogey free...think that’s my lowest round in a major 💪🏻 #PGAChamp
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello both surged up the leaderboard on the final day with six-under-par rounds to round off the top ten.
There was also a strong final day for 2017 Champion Golfer of the Year Jordan Spieth who struck a four-under-par last round to finish tied 12th.