U.S. PGA Cham­pi­onship Re­view

Brooks Koepka com­pleted a dou­ble-dip at the 100th U.S. PGA Cham­pi­onship. With his win at the 2018 U.S. PGA Cham­pi­onship, the Amer­i­can is the first golfer since Jor­dan Spi­eth in 2015 to win two ma­jors in one year, writes Louie Chan.

HK Golfer - - CONTENTS - By Louie Chan

Brooks Koepka com­pleted a dou­ble-dip at the 100th U.S. PGA Cham­pi­onship to be­come the first golfer since Jor­dan Spi­eth in 2015 to win two Ma­jors in one year.

Brooks Koepka started Sun­day ahead of 10 play­ers within four shots off the lead. Tiger Woods cre­ated roars, de­fend­ing cham­pion Justin Thomas chal­lenged and Adam Scott pulled even. How­ever, Koepka held off all chal­lengers at Bel­lerive Coun­try Club in St. Louis.

With his 264, Koepka set the record for the low­est 72-hole score in a PGA Cham­pi­onship. David Toms had the record with his 265 in 2001. More­over, Koepka is the fifth player in his­tory to win the U.S. Open and the U.S. PGA Cham­pi­onship in the same year, along with Gene Sarazen (1922), Ben Ho­gan (1948), Jack Nick­laus (1980) and Tiger Woods (2000).

Even with Tiger and Scott push­ing Koepka, the 28-year-old didn't fal­ter. He went 33 on the front 9 and then holed pars five holes in a row. With the solo lead no longer his when Scott birdied No. 13, Koepka an­swered with birdies of his own on the 15th and 16th to re­gain the solo lead for good.

“You could hear a dif­fer­ent roar ev­ery 30 sec­onds, so we knew what was go­ing on. It’s pretty ob­vi­ous when Tiger makes a birdie. The en­ergy in that place was un­be­liev­able,” said Koepka. Ev­ery­where Koepka walked, Tiger­ma­nia was in full fever on the other side of the ropes, thou­sands upon thou­sands fran­tic to see his­tory. That in­cluded the guys in red shirts with the words, “Make Sun­day great again”.

All that makes a hard and treach­er­ous land­scape for a man in the lead on Sun­day at a ma­jor. How­ever, none of that stopped him. Not the pres­sure, nor the hu­mid­ity, nor Bel­lerive. Not even Woods shoot­ing 64, the ground was shak­ing with each of his eight birdies.

It was Tiger Tiger’s crowd. Tiger’s main stage. Tiger’s ob­vi­ous state­ment that there is still a lot he might be ca­pa­ble of do­ing. How­ever, he fin­ished two shots be­hind. It was Brooks Koepka’s PGA Cham­pi­onship. “It’s kind of pushes you to step up your game,” Koepka said af­ter he held off Woods, “be­cause you know he’s right there if you fall.”

In post­ing his low­est three con­sec­u­tive rounds at a ma­jor (66-66-64) and low­est week­end score at a ma­jor (10-un­der 130) - as in ever - the 14-time ma­jor cham­pion would fin­ish sec­ond, his best show­ing at a ma­jor since his run­ner-up fin­ish at the PGA Cham­pi­onship in 2009. Woods led at Carnoustie with eight holes to play last month (he lost his lead by go­ing dou­ble-bo­gey, bo­gey), and at the PGA, fol­low­ing a hor­rific start (3-over through two holes), he worked his way high up onto the leader­board over the week­end and stayed there.

“I didn't drive it good all day,” Woods said. “I was strug­gling with my golf swing. I warmed up hit­ting it left, I was hit­ting it right with ev­ery sin­gle club, even my sand wedge I wasn't do­ing very good. So, I knew this was go­ing to be a strug­gle to try and piece to­gether a round, and I did.”

Yes, he did, and the masses who fol­lowed his ev­ery move­ment rel­ished ev­ery sec­ond. It was hot, and Woods turned up the heat. Sure, the course was soft and con­ducive to scor­ing this week, but this was the old Tiger, and lit­tle boys watch­ing atop their fa­thers’ shoul­ders will al­ways re­mem­ber what they saw.

Ste­wart Cink plays his shot from the 1st tee dur­ing the fi­nal round of the 2018 U.S.PGA Cham­pi­onship

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