KOEPKA’S MAJOR HAT-TRICK DENIES TIGER WOODS COMEBACK WIN
Brooks Koepka clinched his third major title and second of the season with a nerveless display at the 100th USPGA Championship, denying Tiger Woods a comeback win for the ages.
The 28-year-old followed up back-to-back US Open victories with a two stroke win in St Louis, Missouri last night.
Raucous crowds cheered on Woods who came agonisingly close to his first major triumph in a decade, finishing second after a closing round 64.
But Koepka held his nerve with a round of 66 to see off Woods and playing partner Adam Scott who finished third on 13 under, three shots back.
Woods’s charge was derailed on the par five 17th - finding water off the tee - as Koepka surged clear on the hole behind.
The American hit a 248-yard 4 iron on the 16th to six feet and converted for birdie to set up a two hole lead with two to play.
A last-ditch effort by Woods culminated in a birdie on the 18th for a six-under 64, his lowest round in a major. Astonishingly he failed to find a single fairway on the front nine but still managed to reach the turn in 32.
Adam Scott meanwhile narrowly missed out on an emotional victory. The Australian dedicated his third place finish to his compatriot and fellow tour professional Jarrod Lyle who lost his battle to cancer on the eve of the tournament.
With just over a month until the Ryder Cup, early clubhouse leaders Tyrrell Hatton and Rafa Cabrera-Bello staked a claim for a place in the European team, both shooting 64 to finish in the top 10. They were joined by Thomas Pieters who’s challenge faded with a double bogey on the 17th.
Koepka will be guaranteed a place in the US Ryder Cup side after becoming only the fifth American to win three majors before the age of 30 - joining Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Jordan Speith.
BROOKS KOEPKA - WHAT’S IN THE BAG?
Koepka, just like Masters winner Patrick Reed and England’s Tommy Fleetwood, has no equipment deal allowing him the freedom to use clubs from any manufacturer.
For all three of his major victories, Mizuno JPX900 Tour irons have sat in the bag alongside his Nike Vapour 3 iron.
This year he switched to the TaylorMade M3 driver and Titleist SM7 Vokey wedges.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 9.5 degrees
3 wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour
3 iron: Nike Vapor Fly Pro
Irons: Mizuno JPX900 Tour
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 52, 56 and 60 degree
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron T10 Select Newport