Anything but easy:

Sports | 21 May 2019

Brooks Koepka took inspiration from the crowd turning on him as he nearly "choked away" the PGA Championship and battled through to recover for the most satisfying victory of his career.

Koepka shook off four back-nine bogeys in a row to win his fourth Major title at Bethpage Black, finishing two shots clear of fast-closing fellow American Dustin Johnson.

"This is definitely the most satisfying of all the ones I've won," Koepka said. "Definitely the most satisfying for how stressful that round was, how stressful DJ made that. This was, by far, the most stressful."

Koepka began the final round with a tournament record seven-stroke lead and saw it shrink to a single shot after bogeys on holes 11 through 14.

"I don't want to say it's a panic, but it's definitely a shock," Koepka said. "I wasn't nervous. I was just in shock of what was going on - 13 was a bit disappointing and 14 was just a bit of a shock to go four in a row ... Just had to reset. I think everybody chanting 'DJ' kind of helped that."

New York fans are notorious for turning on favorites when they falter, and fans started calling out 'DJ' to add tension to every blunder. "It's New York. What do you expect when you're half-choking it away?" Koepka said.

What he didn't anticipate is how the chants would give him something to focus upon, shake off the shock and the bogeys and reboot. "It helped me refocus and hit a good one down 15," Kopeka said. "That was probably the best thing that could have happened."

Koepka parred 15 and 16 while Johnson was making bogeys at 16 and 17. Even when Koepka notched his own bogey at 17, he was two ahead at the 18th tee and overcame finding sand and weeds to sink a six-foot par putt for his second PGA title in a row after winning the past two US Open crowns.

"It has been incredibly quick. It has been so much fun these last two years," Koepka said. "To be standing here with four Majors, it's mind-blowing."

Koepka fired a four-over par 74 final round in windy conditions to finish on eight-under 272.

Prior to the start of the tournament, Koepka said "sometimes the Majors are the easiest ones to win."


Search Archive

Advanced Search
February 2020

Today's Standard

Yearly Magazine

Yearly Magazine