The 100th PGA Championship

Gettable course and great golf

  “My doctors, physios, trainers, everybody did an unbelievable job and to do what I’ve done is very impressive. I can’t even believe it”. Tiger Woods recorded a superb 64 on the 4th round at Bellerive to close the 100th PGA Championship for his lowest ever final round in a Major and the second place. He could have described the way he played with the exact same words, meaning also that the greatest golfer in the world is back in full duty.

No, these words were Brooks Koepka’s. The two-time defending US Open champion held off the challenges of a resurgent Tiger Woods and Adam Scott to win his second Major of the season on a course awfully kind and gentle compared to the tragic Shinnecock Hills and the fierce Carnoustie. At a soften Bellerive near Saint Louis after a heavy rain flooded  the first round, the average score card was far better than usual keeping some 80 players for the week-end. But not the likes of Garcia, Mickelson, Noren or Stenson.

Koepka was caught by defending champion Justin Thomas on the front nine and Australian Scott on the way home but kept his cool to record birdies on the 15th and 16th and sign for a 66 to get to 16 under. His aggregate total of 264 is the joint-lowest in Major history, matching Henrik Stenson’s at the 2016 Open Championship. He is the first to win the US Open and US PGA Championship in the same year since Woods in 2000 and only the fifth to do it in history.

Koepka’s season is all the more remarkable considering he did not play any events during four weeks since early January due to a wrist injury. ” Looking where I was, sitting on my couch watching the Masters, and to think I would do this, I would have laughed at you and told you there was no way, no chance, and to do it is really incredible. Three Majors at 28, it’s a cool feeling. I’m excited for the next few years. I’m a fan of golf. Tiger’s come back. You look at what Dustin’s doing, Justin, Rory, Spieth. It’s a great time to be a golf fan. I can’t wait to duel it out with them over the next couple years or next however long”. PPH