Brooks Koepka holds off Tiger Woods, Adam Scott to win PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka holds off Tiger Woods, Adam Scott to win PGA Championship

Ten players were within four shots of the lead, no name bigger - no buzz bigger - than Woods.

Brooks Koepka, holding his nerve to fight off dramatic challenges from Tiger Woods and Adam Scott, won a thrilling back-nine battle Sunday to capture the 100th PGA Championship. "It kind of pushes you to step up your game".

"That will probably go down as probably one of the best shots I've ever hit under pressure", he said.

Shortly after 5 p.m., he had a 20-foot putt on the 16th green that would've tied him with Koepka, who was two holes behind but may as well have been playing on another course compared to the frenzy in front of him. "I made a little bit of a run but came up a couple of shots short".

He had a two-way miss going with his long clubs on the driving range, then came out to the course and missed all seven fairways on the front nine.

Koepka was responsible for that.

Scott had a 65, despite missing three putts from 6 feet, two of them for birdie.

Scott needed a special invitation to get into the PGA Championship.

Koepka set the PGA Championship's 72-hole scoring record at 264.

Koepka has won three of the last six majors he played, and two of three this year alone.

Kopeka has joined Woods, Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan as the only golfers to win the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year. This marked Woods's highest major finish since being runner-up in the same tournament, nine years ago.

The tall, big-hitting American fired a four-under-par 66 at Missouri's Bellerive Country Club to earn a 16-under total and a two-shot win from 14-time major champion Woods (64), with Australia's Adam Scott (67) third at 13 under.

"I could hear it, " Koepka said and smiled as Woods hugged him afterward, acknowledging just how boisterous it was up ahead as Woods was making eight birdies in a round of 64.

In the search for two shots that could've made the difference, one could point to the bad drive on 17, the agonizing miss on 11 or a 12-foot putt to save par that went halfway in but rimmed out on No. 14 and briefly halted his momentum.

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Woods birdies the 15th, he's now back to one behind the front pair.

On the European side, qualifying runs for another three weeks before captain Thomas Bjorn makes his four picks in September.

"I was pretty ticked at the British Open, " Woods said.

"Now, that doesn't mean to say that a guy could have had a relatively average summer, and he goes on a tear, plays well here at the PGA, goes to NY, goes to Boston and plays well".

That was as good as it got.

An up-and-down from a bunker for birdie at the par-5 eighth was followed by an astonishing 176-yard 9-iron second shot from dirt near a cartpath to the ninth green and a 10-foot birdie putt, the crowd roaring with delight as he pumped his right fist.

He birdied the next two holes.

"These fans were so positive all week", Woods said. "What he did at Shinnecock, just bombing it, and then he's doing the same thing here".

"Going from that to even being able to play this year to this, it's absolutely mind blowing", Koepka said.

"It is hard to rationalize everything after leading with four holes to play and you want to win from that position". She also starred in U.S. victories in the Curtis Cup and Palmer Cup, and tied for 27th this year in the U.S. Women's Open.

As for that gym visit with world number one Johnson, Koepka had to laugh at the disparity in the players' profile. He has been motivated by more serious moments, from being left off the "notable scores" section of TV coverage at tournaments and even last week, when he was not summoned for a TV interview to preview the PGA Championship. "Got off to a hot start", Koepka said.

Defending champion Justin Thomas held a share of the lead early in the final round, but played his last 10 holes in one over to fade to sixth place at -10, while Jason Day finished in a tie for 19th at -7, despite being within two shots off the lead after a birdie at the sixth.

Stewart Cink, the 2009 Open Championship victor, shot a 67 on Sunday and finished in a tie for fourth with Spain's Jon Rahm (68) at 11 under.

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