As Tiger Woods brought back the roars that defined the peak of his hall of fame career in pursuit of his 15th major championship, Brooks Koepka remained steady and carried his 54-hole lead all the way to a PGA Championship win.
It's the second major win of the season for Koepka, following his U.S. Open victory at Shinnecock Hills, and his third career major with last year's U.S. Open win at Erin Hills. With three wins and another top-10 finish in his last six starts, Koepka has made an case in the last two years as one of the best major championship golfers on the planet.
And that's one interesting aspect to Koepka because he's only a four-time winner on the PGA Tour. He takes pride in having the fitness and mentality needed to win major championship golf events, and he's been absolutely stellar in spots where the game's other stars and top players have wavered and fallen from contention. When the pressure cranked up for Koepka at multiple turns during his pursuit of the PGA Championship, the 28-year old responded with big drives, dialed in approach shots and birdie putts to ice the victory.
When Koepka is compared to Dustin Johnson, currently the World No. 1 player, there is a tendency to favor DJ and his 19 career wins. But Koepka has three times the number of major wins as his gym pal, and now with a PGA Championship win, his own case as one of the best golfers in the world. Just by winning the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same season, Koepka joins an elite group that only includes Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, the tournament's runner-up.
Beyond that, this was a truly elite performance at Bellerive. Koepka's total of 264 ties Henrik Stenson for the lowest 72-hole number in major championship history (2016 Open).
Woods' impact on this tournament reverberated through the sports world in a way that will make the 2018 PGA Championship discussion circle around the 14-time major winner, but that's because Tiger being in that position is unique. The thing with Koepka in 2018 is that only contending in but winning major championship is a very routine event in the golf world.
Here's how the leaderboard looked at the end of the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri.
1. Brooks Koepka (-16): He probably won this tournament with three straight birdies on the final three holes of the front nine. The birdie run followed back-to-back bogeys that opened the door for the rest of the field, and then the three straight birdies re-established the pecking order and put Koepka back in front.
2. Tiger Woods (-14): We don't always remember all the majors, but we remember all of the majors where Tiger is in contention to win, and we will never, ever forget his 64 on Sunday at Bellerive. The crowd was unbelievable, and they hung on the ups and downs of one of the best scores Woods has carded in a major despite fighting his swing nearly the entire way. According to Justin Ray, Tiger's final three rounds of the PGA Championship (66-66-64) is the lowest score across 54 holes of a major in his career by four shots.
Tiger Woods: 196 (66-66-64) over last 3 rounds; his lowest score across 54 holes of a major in his career by 4 shots— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) August 12, 2018
3. Adam Scott (-13): It's been three or four years since we've seen Scott contend like this at a major championship, but every aspect of his game looked to be there this week. Scott was dialed in approach shots and putting well, limited his mistakes and feasted on birdie opportunities.
T4. Jon Rahm (-11): While Rickie Fowler could never really get anything going, Rahm was able to string together some birdies and take advantage of the late tee time to get in the mix to win. A late bogey on 17 derailed some of those efforts, but by that time Koepka had already pushed the lead out of reach.
T4. Stewart Cink (-11): The 45-year old former Open champion has his game in a good place right now. Cink finished T2 at the Travelers Championship earlier this year, notched a top-25 finish at Carnoustie and now has his best major finish since the win at Turnberry nine years ago.
T6. Thomas Pieters, Francesco Molinari, Justin Thomas, Gary Woodland (-10): Pieters had the best round of this group, moving up the leaderboard earlier in the afternoon and putting some pressure on the leaders before a double-bogey at 17. JT has some of his own disappointment as well, with just a few putts and a couple swings separating him from a real chance at chasing down Koepka. Molinari adds this to the Open Championship win and two other victories to round out a terrific 2019.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Sunday updating this story with the latest scores, analysis and highlights from the final round at Bellerive, so catch up below. Click here if you want to check out the full PGA Championship leaderboard. If you are unable to view the updates below, please click here.
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