Koepka holds off Woods to win PGA Championship

Jo Caldwell
August 13, 2018

After wasting one chance to put it away by missing consecutive birdie chances from 7 feet, Koepka kept attacking flags and ran in birdie putts of 10 feet on No. 15 and 7 feet on No. 16 to end the drama.

The 14-times major victor, who had whipped the massive gallery into a frenzy on the front nine, sent them into absolute hysteria with two more birdies at 12 and 13 that again vaulted him within one of the lead.

"He's a tough guy to beat when he's flying it 340 in the air", Woods said. The Aussie birdies the 12th to move to -13 alongside Woods.

He matches legends Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Woods, the last man to achieve the feat in 2000, in winning the US Open and PGA Championship in the same year.

"I feel like I played well today", said Woods, who only returned to competitive golf in November after undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April a year ago.

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However, he reminded the entire golfing world that he's the G.O.A.T for a reason, sending the fans into a frenzy with a final-round 64 to finish in second behind Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship.

Woods, however, pounced with four birdies and a bogey on his front nine to get within one of the lead and with the 42-year-old in the running to win his first major since the 2008 U.S. Open, Tiger-mania was at a fever pitch.

And with halfway leader Gary Woodland making a triple bogey on the 10th after hitting from one bunker into another and then back again, Koepka found himself with a four-shot lead.

"Other than me, my team, everybody was rooting for Tiger", he said. "Looking at these eight guys they will enjoy this challenge".

"But look, it's ifs and buts".

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He added his fourth birdie of the front nine at 9 after hitting a hook from left of the fairway to inside 11 feet. "I blew it by about four feet and then pulled the next one". Two majors for Koepka in the same year, with Patrick Reed taking the Masters, while Francesco Molinari became the first Italian major victor with victory at the Open last month.

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"It was just really, really close to being precise enough to win this week", Spieth said.

"Not that they were gimmes, by any means, but I hit pretty good putts, especially on 15". But he wasn't giving me full relief, he was telling me to drop it in the tree basically.

"Minus a couple tee shots, I had a chance to win this thing with what felt like not my "A" game". Two referees and neither had the balls.

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Asked if he met his expectations set at the beginning of the week, Scott said: "If you told me I would have shot these scores at the start of the week, I would have been very pleased".

"For me, the numbers are nice, good to look at, but not always the most important".

"I got off to a really slow start, so I was not super comfortable early in the round", Scott told reporters. He also goes with the news that he is now 77th in the world rankings, also a career-best.

Scott was tied for the lead until Koepka's birdies. A ideal example was the vintage putter raise as a birdie on No. 13 fell into the hole to bring him within one stroke of the lead.

He may be thankful to still be playing, but the reality is that this performance hints that Woods is nowhere near finished at the top level, and that all the hard work to get to this point has been worth it.

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