The PGA Championship has concluded, and it had a familiar face taking home the title. Brooks Koepka defended last year’s win, shooting -8 to win his second PGA Championship and his fourth major overall. Here’s a little more about Koepka and the rest of the tournament as we look back on the PGA Championship.
Koepka makes history
Koepka’s four days at Bethpage Black were incredibly eventful, starting with an insane Thursday and ending with a nail-biting Sunday. He started the tournament with a bogey-free 63, a course record. He then followed that up with a 65 in the second round, setting a record for the lowest 36-hole score in a major championship. After those two rounds and a score of -12, Koepka held a seven-stroke lead over Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth, another PGA Championship record after 36 holes.
On Saturday, Koepka came back to earth a little bit, shooting an even 70. But luckily for him, no one made any large surges, and he retained a seven-stroke lead. Finally, on Sunday, Koepka set another record, but not in a good way. After starting the day up seven strokes, Koepka bogeyed five of his last eight holes and shot +4, the worst score in the final round by a winner in tournament history. However, he avoided a potentially-catastrophic collapse on Sunday to capture the win.
DJ falls just short
In all of the talk about Koepka, Dustin Johnson was right in the race come Sunday afternoon. Johnson managed to finish with a final score of -6, shooting a 69-67-69-69 through the four rounds. He managed to shoot under par every single day, compared to Koepka, who only managed to do so the first two days.
After Saturday, Johnson was in a four-way tie for second, seven strokes back of the lead. But once Koepka’s struggles really began during the back-nine, things became really interesting. Before you knew it, Johnson was just one stroke back of Koepka with three holes left to go. However, DJ dropped strokes on holes 16 and 17, giving Koepka the cushion he needed to win.
Tiger misses cut
The co-favorite along with Koepka to win the PGA Championship, Tiger Woods fell short at Bethpage Black and failed to make it into the weekend. Woods scored a 72 in the opening round, an eventful round that had an eagle, three birdies, three bogeys, and two double-bogeys. The next day was also up and down for Tiger, with three birdies but six bogeys, four of them coming on holes 10-14. Following the day’s 73, Woods missed the cut by just one stroke. It’s the first time he has missed the cut at a major after winning the previous one.
Struggles at the Black
Players knew going into this tournament how tough Bethpage Black was. So it was not surprising at all to see so few play it well. By the end of the tournament, just seven golfers were even-par or better, with only Koepka and Johnson better than -2. Golfers like Rickie Fowler and Harold Varner Jr. were guys who conquered the first three days but had miserable Sundays to end the tournament at +6. Other notable players missed the cut altogether, including Woods, Ian Poulter, Bryson DeChambeau, and Patrick Reed. Despite all the high rounds, it is still an improvement over the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage, whereby the end Woods was the only player to finish under par.
The next stop on the PGA Tour is Fort Worth, Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge. The first round tees off at 7:00 a.m. CST from Colonial Country Club.