Koepka struggles; holds off Johnson for PGA win

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Brooks Koepka took his place in PGA Championship historical past with a victory, minus the type factors.

In a raging wind that turned Bethpage Black right into a beast, Koepka misplaced all however one shot of his document seven-shot lead on Sunday. He misplaced the brutal Lengthy Island crowd, which started chanting “DJ!” for Dustin Johnson as Koepka was on his method to a fourth straight bogey.

However Koepka delivered the important thing photographs over the closing stretch as Johnson pale with two straight bogeys, closed with a Four-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Tiger Woods as the one back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship because it went to stroke play in 1958.

Koepka stated at the beginning of the week that majors are typically the simplest to win.

This one ought to have been. It wasn’t.

His 74 was the best closing spherical by a PGA champion in 15 years, since Vijay Singh was Four over in 2004.

“I am simply glad I haven’t got to play any extra holes,” Koepka stated. “That was a irritating spherical of golf. I am glad to have this [Wanamaker Trophy] again in my arms.”

Koepka appeared to wrap it up with a niche wedge from 156 yards to 2 ft on the 10th gap for a birdie, as Johnson made his first bogey of the spherical up forward on the 11th. That restored the result in six photographs, and the coronation was on.

After which all of it modified in a New York minute.

Koepka missed three straight fairways and made three straight bogeys, having to make a 6-foot putt on No. 11 to maintain it from being worse. The wind was so fickle that it died as he hit 7-iron to the par-Three 14th that sailed over the inexperienced, resulting in a fourth straight bogey.

The gang sensed a collapse and commenced chanting, “DJ! DJ! DJ!” as Koepka was taking part in the opening. Forward of him, Johnson made birdie on the 15th — the hardest gap at Bethpage Black all week — and the lead was down to at least one.

Brooks Koepka celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after profitable the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black on Sunday. Koepka received the occasion for the second straight 12 months. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

That was as shut as Johnson bought.

Johnson’s 5-iron pierced via a wind that gusted near 25 mph, over the inexperienced and right into a buried lie. He missed the 7-foot par putt, went lengthy of the inexperienced on the par-Three 17th for one more bogey and needed to accept 69. Johnson now has runner-up finishes in all 4 of the majors, the fallacious type of profession Grand Slam.

Koepka returned to No. 1 on the earth with a efficiency that defines his dominance in golf’s largest occasions.

He turns into the primary participant to carry back-to-back titles in two majors on the similar time, having received a second straight U.S. Open final summer season, 60 miles down the street at Shinnecock Hills. Koepka was the primary wire-to-wire winner within the PGA Championship since Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983.

And what stakes his declare as the most effective in his era was a 3rd straight 12 months profitable a significant. He joins a most elite group — solely Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have carried out that for the reason that Masters started in 1934.

Koepka now has 4 victories in his previous eight majors, a streak not seen since Woods received seven out of 11 majors upon triumphing on the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black.

This was Koepka’s fourth win in a significant earlier than turning 30. Within the Masters period (since 1934), solely two golfers have had extra main wins earlier than turning 30 — Woods and Nicklaus, in accordance with ESPN Stats and Info information.

Koepka is also the primary participant to earn $7 million in a span of 5 majors.

Info from The Related Press was used on this report.

 

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