Monday, 20 May 2019
Brooks Koepka  (Getty Images)
Brooks Koepka (Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka ended a record-breaking week by defending the US PGA Championship title at Bethpage State Park BK Course.

The American entered round four with a record seven shot lead and held off the challenge of Dustin Johnson despite a late wobble.

Here, we pick out the key talking points from the week in New York.

Record-setting Koepka...

Koepka is firmly among the golfing greats following a spectacular week at Bethpage. A fourth Major title out of his last eight puts him alongside Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to win so many in so short a span, and he becomes the first wire to wire winner of a Major since Spieth at The 2017 Open Championship. The 29-year-old is also now the only player under 30 with four Major titles and there could be many more to follow. Koepka made a stunning start with a blemish-free 63 on one of the toughest golf courses on the planet. The next day he shattered the 36 hole records for lowest score in a Major, and lowest score to par and leading margin at the US PGA as a 65 gave him a seven shot lead. 

...But it could have been a very different ending No one had given up a seven shot lead in the final round of a Major. Koepka still led by six with eight to play but his advantage was down to one as he stood on the 15th tee after a run of four bogeys. Johnson was the man chasing him down but he bogeyed two of his last three holes. Koepka surged three shots clear but bogeyed the 17th and found trouble off the tee at the last before saving par and signing for a 74 that gave him a two shot victory at eight under.

Beem beaming after rolling back the years at Bethpage "It's definitely the best nine holes I've ever played." It's a bold claim from a Major Champion, but Rich Beem was beaming after his heroic back nine during the second round saw him make the cut. The 48-year-old - the 2002 US PGA Champion - was nine over as he stood on the 13th tee but he birdied five of his last six holes for a 30 that was the lowest nine holes of the week and saw him make the cut.

Wallace makes Major progress In 2016, Matt Wallace was playing on the Alps Tour. Now, he's a four-time European Tour winner and has just finished in a tie for third for his best result at a Major Championship. The 29-year-old carded a closing 72 in round four as the notoriously difficult Long Island layout bared its teeth in the wind, finishing six shots behind winner and new World Number one Koepka and four back of Johnson, who has dropped to Number Two. “In the end, I wanted second, but I would have taken third. That’s not a bad week for me," he said. “I really dug deep and showed another side to myself, that I was proud and kept churning away and trying to produce the best I could, and two over was the best I could have done. I'm buzzing for the next Major. I've shown that I can compete. We're a little bit far away from the leaders but that's a few putts here and there. If I can just try and get better at every single part of my game, I can compete with the likes of Brooks and DJ."

Jazz and Jack

Jack Miller works in a supermarket day to day but he is also a veteran caddie at Bethpage State Park BK Course and he was paired up with Jazz Janewattananond at the start of the week, after the talented 23-year-old's planned local caddie was unable to perform his duties. The pair met just three days before the tournament but ended the week only one shot away from a top ten finish. Janewattananond was in the mix after the third day but struggled in his final round to fall out of contention. Nevertheless, he made an impression on Miller. He said: "It started off a little awkward with the language. He was having a problem with my New York accent! But we got it going. He laughs and fools around with everybody and then the next thing you know, when it comes to a golf shot, he's so focused on it. He's a true pro. When I'm with him I'm fine, he's cool, we're calm. For a 23-year-old it's amazing how he carries himself."

Bjerregaard makes some noise amid final round drama Lucas Bjerregaard produced one of the highlights of a dramatic final day with a stunning hole-in-one on the 17th. While Koepka and Johnson were getting close elsewhere, the Dane raised the noise levels in New York further. He pulled a six iron from his bag and saw his 206 yard tee shot bounce once before finding the bottom of the cup. He said: "We couldn't quite see it go in but the reaction was amazing. The New York fans are really loud and that was no exception." But the drama was not done, as playing partner Lucas Glover then holed a bunker shot for birdie, meaning the duo would have recorded a par even if you had combined their scores. The 2009 U.S. Open Championship winner said: "It was obviously very special and it was pretty loud. We had a nice time and a pretty awesome celebration."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-8
2JOHNSON, DustinUSA18-6
T3SPIETH, JordanUSA18-2
T3CANTLAY, PatrickUSA18-2
6LIST, LukeUSA18-1

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