Brooks Koepka held off a late charge from Dustin Johnson to capture his second consecutive PGA Championship on Sunday, completing a wire-to-wire victory for his fourth major title in spine-tingling fashion.
A near-collapse saw Koepka’s record seven-stroke lead reduced to a single shot, but he withstood making four bogeys in a row on the back nine and another at 17 for an unexpectedly narrow triumph.
“This is probably the most satisfied I’ve been with all the majors,” said Koepka. “This one’s definitely at the top of the list of how emotionally and how mentally spent I am.”
Koepka fired a four-over par 74 final round at windy Bethpage Black to finish 72 holes on eight-under 272 and defeat Johnson by two strokes, replacing him as world No 1 as a result.
“I’m just glad we don’t have any more holes to play,” Koepka said afterwards. “That was a stressful round of golf.”
Bogeys by Johnson at 16 and 17 made the difference but Koepka made bogey at the par-3 17th, then escaped sand and weeds off the 18th tee by finding the fairway and green then sinking a six-foot putt for the victory.
The usually poker-faced Koepka admitted the moment got to him on the final hole, where he fired a fist pump after his winning putt.
“That was the most excited I’ve ever been in my life there on 18,” Koepka said.
Koepka, who seeks his third US Open win in a row next month at Pebble Beach, became the first man to own back-to-back titles at two majors simultaneously by capturing the Wanamaker Trophy and the $1.98 million top prize.
The 29-year-old American joined Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back stroke-play winners of the PGA, Woods having done it in 2006-07 as well as 1999-2000.