Brooks Koepka holds off Tiger Woods, Adam Scott to win PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka secured his status as one of the best golfers in the world Sunday as he won his third major in 14 months at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club outside St. Louis. Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title at Shinnecock Hills in June, shot a final-round 66 to hold off Tiger Woods (64) by two shots. Adam Scott shot 67 to finish alone in third, a shot behind Woods. Koepka is the first man to win two majors in the same calendar year since Jordan Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015. He is the first man to pull off the U.S. Open-PGA Championship double since Woods in 2000. His 72-hole score of 264 set the PGA Championship scoring record and matched the major championship record set by Henrink Stenson at Royal Troon in the 2016 British Open. The 28-year-old Floridian also joined Jordan Spieth, Woods, Nicklaus and Tom Watson as the only players with three majors before turning 30 since World War II. Koepka had started the final round two shots ahead of Scott, who was playing with a heavy heart after fellow Australian pro Jarrod Lyle died of cancer earlier this week. The Florida native appeared to be in command halfway through the round, weathering bogeys at 4 and 5 to take a three-shot lead over Scott at the turn. But Scott rallied at the same time that Koepka’s touch with the putter deserted him. The Australian birdied 10, 12, and 13, while Koepka missed short birdie putts at 12, 13, and 14. With Koepka stuck in neutral, Woods put on a charge and sent the galleries into a frenzy when he birdied the par-4 15th to get within a shot of the lead after sticking his second shot within a foot of the flagstick. However, Koepka regained control of the championship on the 15th hole, when he drilled a 10-foot birdie putt into the center of the cup to take a one-shot lead. He added to his advantage at the par-3 16th, when he stuck his tee shot to inside seven feet of the hole, then drained the ensuing birdie putt. Scott had one last chance to force some drama on the last hole, but a six-foot birdie putt on the 17th green that would have put him within one shot of Koepka curled wide of the cup. He then bogeyed the final hole to slip out of a tie for second. Woods’ 64, which included two bogeys, is his lowest final-round score in any major. It was his seventh runner-up finish and first since the 2009 PGA Championship. Woods and Koepka played nine holes of a practice round on Wednesday, and the 14-time major champion knew what he was up against. “It’s tough to beat when the guy hits it 340 down the middle,” Woods said. “What he did at Shinnecock, just bombing it, and then he’s doing the same thing here. … And when a guy’s doing that and hitting it straight, and as good a putter as he is, it’s tough to beat.” Koepka never imagined a year like this. He missed four months at the start of the year when a partially torn tendon in his left wrist, causing him to sit out the Masters. He outlasted good friend Dustin Johnson at Shinnecock Hills to become the first back-to-back U.S. Open champion in 29 years. And now this. Koepka joked about working out in a public gym this week with Johnson and not being recognized. He has been motivated by more serious moments, from being left off the “notable scores” section of TV coverage at tournaments and even last week, when he was not summoned for a TV interview to preview the PGA Championship. He now is No. 2 in the world, with a shot at overtaking Johnson in two weeks when the FedEx Cup playoffs start,

Tiger came close…but no purse!  Congrats to Brooks!  Over 55,000 fans were in attendance and the players were impressed with the politeness and positive attitude of the St. Louis fans.  Excellent!!  To see some pics and videos from Bellerive Country Club in West St. Louis County, just click on the text above.    🙂

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