9. BROOKS BLITZES WAY TO THIRD MAJOR TITLE
Date: Aug. 12, 2018
Event: PGA Championship
Where: Bellerive CC (St Louis, MO)
Winner: Brooks Koepka -16 | Runner-up: Tiger Woods -14
Recap: The Columbia Broadcasting System, better know by the acronym CBS, should be very grateful to Koepka. During Saturday’s third round, the young Floridian came roaring out of the gate with birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9 to turn with a five-stroke lead, and appeared on the cusp of a blowout. But a back nine of two bogeys against one birdie allowed the the field to close the gap – most notably, TV ratings darling Woods.
On Sunday, Koepka birdied his first hole, but the looked vulnerable for the first time all week, playing his next five holes in 2-over. During that stretch, defending champion Thomas used a front-nine surge to tie for the lead, and very nearly took the solo-lead on the 9th hole when his 11-foot birdie chance skidded past the hole.
Thomas then inexplicably missed the comeback to card a bogey, and soon, Koepka was back up by two. That lead was extended further when Koepka emerged from his front-nine funk and carded birdies on Nos. 7, 8, and 9 to go out in 2-under 33 and retake control of the tournament.
Still, things never got easy for Koepka. While he would go on to play his back-nine bogey-free, he again fell into a tie, this time with playing partner Scott, a player who made the field on a sponsor’s exemption and had just one top-10 in 18 starts this season.
Coming down the closing stretch, it became a three-man battle, with just Koepka, Scott, and Woods having a realistic chance of leaving St. Louis with the Wanamaker Trophy.
Koepka birdied Nos. 15 and 16 to again get multiple strokes out front, and despite great efforts from Scott and Woods (Tiger birdied 12, 13, 15, and 18), nobody was quite able to reach the 28-year old bomber.
When Scott’s six-foot birdie try on the 17th missed the cup, Koepka had a two-stroke advantage with just one hole to go. Four shots later, Koepka earned his second victory of the season – both major titles.
Koepka’s 72-hole score of 264 (-16) is a major championship record.
WATCH KOEPKA’S KEY FINAL-ROUND SHOTS
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