Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Koepka beats Tiger Woods to win US PGA, Scott third

Poulter is playing his fifth straight week Poulter is playing his fifth straight week
Freda Brock | 13 August, 2018, 13:14

Woods and Koepka played nine holes of a practice round on Wednesday, and the 14-time major champion knew what he was up against.

Brooks Koepka may have won the PGA Championship, but Tiger Woods stole the show with a vintage display that sent fans into meltdown.

In his eighth month of a comeback season after spinal fusion surgery, Woods ground out four birdies against a lone bogey on both the front and back nines but could never draw level with Koepka, settling for his seventh career major runner-up finish.

After wasting one chance to put it away, Koepka ran kept attacking flags and ran in birdie putts of 10 feet on No. 15 and 7 feet on No. 16 to end the drama. (Next year it will move to the second major, after The Masters, and will be played May 16-19 at Bethpage Black).

Woods, who said he wants to be chosen as a captain's pick for the US Ryder Cup team, was pleased he was able to contend at the PGA and lead in the last round of last month's British Open. "When he started making that run, it brought me back to when I was a kid, when I was watching him and you heard those roars".

"I don't think I'd ever played in front of that many people", he told reporters Saturday.

But when you consider that 64 is Woods' lowest final round, in his 80th major championship, and that his score of 266 is his lowest 72-hole total, it was an impressive performance. I struggled to hit it as the greens were getting slower.

It might have had a little something to do with Tiger, but fellow golfer Justin Thomas said he's never seen crowds like this before. "Hopefully, we can come back here in May, get the course a little bit firmer and faster and even more challenging, and it would be a lot of fun to come back for sure". "Good news is I've got a week off now to nail it in and feel like I stepped into the playoffs with my game in the best shape it's been this entire year".

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Seven of the top 12 players have already won one of the four majors - the Masters, The Open Championship, the US Open and US PGA Championship - while the presence of top-10 players Fowler and Rahm adds to a high-quality leaderboard.

Matt Wallace was already enjoying his day alongside three-time major victor Jordan Spieth when he made a hole-in-one on the 16th from 232 yards.

He closed with a 4-under 66 for a two-shot victory over Woods and took his place among the elite in golf.

"Three majors at 28 - it's a cool feeling", said Koepka, who five years ago was toiling in Europe's minor leagues.

"It was unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable", said Fox of the atmosphere on course when Woods was on the charge. He didn't register his first birdie until the 13th hole. I think the three Jayhawks would enjoy that. I've kind of had some trouble with that over the past two or three years.

"So it was just really, really close to being precise enough to win this week".

In the search for two shots that could've made the difference, one could point to the bad drive on 17, the agonizing miss on 11 or a 12-foot putt to save par that went halfway in but rimmed out on No. 14 and briefly halted his momentum. "I really look forward to it".

If Woods was going to have a chance, he had to have a birdie at the 17th, but he again couldn't find the fairway, almost knocking his driver into a creek that borders the right side from where he was able to advance the ball only 60 yards.

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