THE MICHAEL BARI SHOW DAILY
August 13, 2018
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The Tiger Babies – the next generation of stars who grew up idolizing and emulating their boyhood hero – finally got their shot at the king Sunday at the PGA Championship.
No surprise, it was Brooks Koepka who stepped up to the challenge.
With Bellerive Country Club rocking, with the sunburned and delirious fans sprinting down the hills just to catch a glimpse of Woods’ improbable surge at major No. 15, Koepka played some of the most unflinching, unapologetic and uncompromising golf of his career.
In front of the largest galleries he’d ever seen, Koepka made five birdies over his last 13 holes, quieting the pro-Tiger crowd, finishing with a tournament-record total and taking the PGA by two shots over Woods in the type of macho performance that has come to define his ascendant career.
“How many guys will ever get to say that they went head to head with Tiger in a major?” said Claude Harmon III, Koepka’s swing coach. “I think he was very excited about that opportunity today, and it’s something that he wanted to have happen. I think it defines your career to be able to say that you’ve gone toe to toe with Tiger, and that’s as close as anyone has come in a very long time.”
For a player whose team routinely gripes about his lack of media exposure, there’s no hiding Koepka now – his name at the top of the leaderboard.
On a raucous afternoon powered by a living legend and three under-30 stars (Rahm! Rickie! JT!), it was Koepka who captured his third title in his last six majors. He’s a ruthless big-game hunter, his three majors tying him with media darling Jordan Spieth and putting him just one behind former boy wonder Rory McIlroy in the race to become this generation’s most dominant player.
Already a shoe-in, at age 28, for the Hall of Fame, Koepka is just the fourth player to claim the U.S. Open and PGA in the same season, joining an illustrious group all known by just one name: Sarazen. Nicklaus. Woods.
Amidst the roars and the challenges and acute pressure, Brooks Koepka bullied through it all to win his second major of the season at the 100th PGA Championship. Here’s how the action-packed and emotionally charged final round played out at Bellerive Country Club.
Leaderboard: Koepka (-16), Tiger Woods (-14), Adam Scott (-13), Stewart Cink (-11), Jon Rahm (-11), Justin Thomas (-10), three others at 10 under
What it means: Sunday in St. Louis, it was Koepka who established the narrative. Woods was making a spirited run for his first major victory in over a decade. Thomas was trying to successfully defend his title. Scott was attempting to produce an inspirational triumph. But, in the end, it was Koepka who kept his nerve, outplayed the field and never wavered as a raucous crowd exalted every birdie around him. Brooks Koepka is the dominant major force in today’s game. Undeniably so. Continue reading by Golf Channel Digital
- Brooks Koepka holds off a challenge from Tiger Woods to win the U.S. PGA title and $1.98 million.
- Google Trends ranked Woods at a maximum score of 100 during final round, and Koepka at just 27.
- Woods has finished tied-sixth and second at the last two majors and is likely to be a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup.
“Tiger’s coming!” was the shout of one golf fan directed to Brooks Koepka during Sunday’s final round at the U.S. PGA Championship.
Gentle baiting from the crowd, as well as several roars of delight from around the course after another Tiger Woods birdie, weren’t enough to deter Koepka from a third major title. But the signs are there that Woods is again a force to be reckoned with.
American Koepka, 28, withstood stifling pressure and sweltering heat in St Louis, Missouri, to card a four-under 66 good enough for a two-shot victory, and claim the trophy and the $1.98 million prize. Continue reading by Adam Reed