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Koepka holds off charging Tiger to clinch PGA Championship

Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot on the second hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 4, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Roar Rookie
13th August, 2018
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It was an exhilarating final round at the 100th PGA Championship, where Brooks Koepka managed to keep his cool and clinch victory.

This, despite charges up the leaderboard by the world’s best, including Tiger Woods.

Breathtaking shots and birdies by the world’s best made this one of the finest final rounds in recent majors.

So let’s now take a look back at the week that was on tour:

Birdies
Brooks Koepka: Koepka displayed why he is the hottest golfer on the planet on Sunday after an impressive performance. Koepka was able to bomb drives down the fairway all week while having the touch to dial in his approach shots on his way to a 66 handing him a two shot victory.

Koepka, now second in the world, has won three of the last seven major championships and became only the fifth player to win the US Open and PGA in the same year joining the illustrious group of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods: The Tiger roars on Sunday reminded us all of Tiger’s heyday as he took the spotlight with a charge up the leaderboard in a final round 64. Despite not hitting a fairway on the front nine he shot -3 in the most impressive nine holes seen this year on Tour.

Tiger struggled throughout the day off the tee but using sheer will and determination his stunning recovery and approach shots had the enormous crowds, often 15 people deep, electrified.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods of the United States (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Adam Scott: Despite starting in the final group there was little hype around the Australian, however after a slow start he started to play the best golf of his year climbing the leaderboard, going five under through a seven hole stretch where he tied the lead.

However Scott will rue a missed seven foot birdie putt on 17 to get to one shot back, which would have put some pressure on Koepka going down the final hole.

Bellerive Ground Staff: The course itself had been struggling before play began on Thursday with the hotter than usual summer in St Louis, Missouri.

The Course staff therefore had to keep the greens slower and softer than they would have liked, the players were able to take advantage playing “dart golf”, knowing that any shot would stick where it landed. The staff in the end did a great job managing the course in the weather conditions, while keeping scoring in check when it could easily have turned into a birdie fest.

Bogeys
Steamy Weather: With the temperatures in the mid 30s and the high humidity making it feel much hotter top players like Woods changed through multiple shirts during their round in the seriously uncomfortable conditions.

The good news? Next year the PGA will be moving to May as part of the new tour schedule, the bad? The event is being held at Bethpage Black in 2019 just outside of New York City where the temperatures will be likely in the teens. So bring a variety of sweaters instead of shirts next year Tiger!

Justin Thomas: After a hot start that saw Thomas -3 after seven and a few groups ahead of the leaders he looked to be the guy to take the fight to Koepka. But after a three putt from 11 feet on nine and a string of poor approach shots on the back nine the world number three and defending champion dropped out of contention and headed home disappointed.

Ryder Cup Bubble Boys: Requiring a strong week to secure their position or move up in the Ryder Cup rankings a number of high profile players missed the cut.

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Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Alex Noren and Zach Johnson are all high profile members trying to secure a spot in their respective squads, they will now have to try their best over the coming weeks to earn a Captain’s pick.

Phil Mickelson

Craziest round of the week?
This honour has to go to young American Tony Finau, his front nine in round two included seven birdies, a bogey and a triple bogey to shoot a three under 32 first half!

He ended his round with a four under 66 but with ten birdies over the day he would have like to sign for a far lower number.

Side stories
– Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry played a Tour event in the California Bay Area this week as an amateur.

A first round 71 had many thinking he would do the unbelievable and make the cut, but a second round 86 showed that although he is a great golfer he shouldn’t quit his day job. Don’t feel too bad for Curry though, his day job involves playing basketball and earning US$37.5 million per year!

– Tommy Fleetwood got a shock when £120,000 appeared in his bank account following a T-12 finish at The Open, the problem? It was deposited into another Tommy Fleetwood’s account! Yes! A Florida club-pro also named Tommy Fleetwood received the earnings after a ‘clerical error’, unfortunately for American Tommy he had to give it back to his English name-fellow.

Next week on Tour
Wyndham Championship: The PGA Tour heads to North Carolina for its last event of the regular season before the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. This means its the last chance for players to secure their cards for next year, it is the ultimate pressure week for many so expect to see elation alongside despair from the world’s best.

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Nordea Masters: The European Tour heads to Sweden as their season continues to build to the Race to Dubai finals later in the year. Renato Paratore is the defending champion after winning the event last year at just 20 years of age!

Thoughts for the week
How much longer will Tiger have us waiting until his breakthrough win?…. Is Brooks Koepka the best athlete on Tour?….. Also in case you’re wondering how much longer we all have to wait to once again feel the excitement of a major? Well it’s 241 days until the first round of the Masters.. so let the countdown begin!

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