Brooks Koepka now has four major championship victories. He now has just as many major victories as Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy.
American Brooks Koepka has claimed the 2019 PGA Championship by two strokes ahead of fellow countryman Dustin Johnson.
The victory was Koepka’s fourth major championship win in his last eight starts and his third in the last five, and becomes the world’s number one ranked golfer.
Starting the day with a seven shot lead most assumed that barring any major stumble, Koepka would claim an easy victory. But the unthinkable almost happened as Koepka stumbled in the early stages of the back nine, Johnson surged and the New York crowd starting drinking a little more than Long Island .
And the inebriated New York crowd spiraled out of control.
The front nine had all been fairly mundane.
Playing partner Harold Varner III had faded well down the leaderboard and Koepka looked in complete control shooting an even par 35.
And when Koepka made birdie at the 10th hole, the lead was six despite Johnson doing his best to hunt down the leader by making three birdies in his opening nine holes.
But as the winds began to pick up on Long Island, and the crowd began to drink a little too many Iced Teas, drama was about to unfold.
Koepka made three consecutive bogeys on 11, 12 and 13 to drop from 13-under par to -10.
As Koepka arrived at the par-3 14th tee, Johnson made birdie at the 15th to move to 7-under to cut the lead to two, and the chant s of “DJ” spread across the fairways of
Castle Bethpage Black.
Koepka then air-mailed the green and on approaching his ball sections of the crowd resembled the bleachers of a Yankees game with several calls of “shank”, “choke” and much worse were hurled in his direction.
Koepka failed to get up and down and suddenly the lead was just one stroke. The crowd was going crazy and anyone expecting the GoT finale to be the most dramatic finish of the day has another contender on their hands.
But just when you expected a dragon to appear came the resilience of Brooks Koepka to subdue any impossible storyline..
Koepka shut out the noisy crowd with pars at 15 and 16, while Johnson, trying to force another birdie coming in, stumbled with consecutive bogeys at the 16th and 17th hole.
A late bogey from Koepka meant the 29-year-old held a two-stroke lead arriving at the 18th hole.
A hooked drive into deep rough at the last hole provided some closing drama but a pitch out, followed by an exquisite pitch to six feet sealed the victory.
The closing par saw Koepka win what everyone had assumed just hours earlier would be his second US Open trophy. It just landed in his hands a little more dramatically than expected.