Koepka historic win PGA Championship for second straight year - Sports history


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Monday, May 20, 2019

Koepka historic win PGA Championship for second straight year

Brooks Koepka survived to win the PGA Championship for a second consecutive year.

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Brooks Koepka took his place in PGA Championship history with a wire-to-wire victory, minus the style points.

In a raging wind that turned Bethpage Black into a beast, Koepka lost all but one shot of his record seven-shot lead Sunday. He lost the brutal Long Island crowd, which began chanting “DJ!” for Dustin Johnson as Koepka was on his way to a fourth straight bogey.

But he delivered the key shots over the closing stretch as Johnson faded with two straight bogeys, and Koepka closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958.

His 74 was the highest final round by a PGA champion since Vijay Singh 

won in a playoff in 2004 at Whistling Straits.

He becomes the first player to hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time, having won a second straight U.S. Open last summer 60 miles down the road at Shinnecock Hills.

Brooks Koepka survived to win the PGA Championship for a second consecutive year.

He was the first wire-to-wire winner in the PGA Championship since Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983. It was his third straight year winning a major, a feat achieved by only seven others since the Masters began in 1934 — Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Peter Thomson and Ralph Guldahl.

Winning four of his last eight
 majors is a stretch not seen since Woods won seven out of 11 when he captured the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. 

Next up is the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where Koepka already is the betting favorite as he defends his title for the second time. No one has won the U.S. Open three straight years since Willie Anderson in 1905.

Woods won the Wanamaker Trophy in consecutive years twice, in 1999 and 2000, and again in 2006 and 2007. Koepka was starting to draw comparisons with Woods for the way he obliterated the competition, much like Woods in his 12-shot victory in the 1997 Masters and 15-shot victory in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

US PGA Championship 2019 final round leaderboard.

-8 B Koepka (US);
-6 D Johnson (US);
-2 J Spieth (US), P Cantlay (US), M Wallace (Eng);
-1 L List (US); Level S Kang (Kor)

Selected others:
+1 R McIlroy (NI), S Lowry (Ire), A Scott (Aus);
+2 J Janewattananond (Tha);
+5 G McDowell (NI), P Casey (Eng), J Rose (Eng);
+7 D Willett (Eng), M Fitzpatrick (Eng);
+8 F Molinari (Ita), T Fleetwood (Eng), T Hatton (Eng);
+10 R Fisher,
+12 P Mickelson (US)

Koepka made history to win US PGA Championship: quotes. 

“I wasn’t nervous. I was just in shock at what was going on,” Koepka said. “When they started chanting D.J. on 14, it actually kind of helped.

“That was probably the best thing that could have happened ... helped me refocus and hit a good one down 15.”

“Tell you what, the hour spent from number 11 to 14 was interesting,” Koepka said. “I just got stuck in a bogey train. I just made mistakes at the wrong time.

“You’ve got to hit good drives and I put it in the rough. I challenge anyone to play this course in 15-to 20 miles-per-hour winds and see what they shoot.”

“Today was definitely the most satisfying out of all of them for how stressful that round was, how stressful D.J. made it.

“I know for a fact, that was the most excited I’ve ever been in my life ... on 18.”

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