Pro Golfers Impressed by St. Louis Crowds at PGA Championship

Ross Houston
August 13, 2018

Seconds later, another burst from patrons watching on TV in chalets. "I didn't know when I was going to start this year and how many tournaments I was going to play, how well I was going to play". He's got deft touch and a pure putting stroke, but is more about overpowering golf courses than overthinking them.

It's hard to surmise, at the moment, just how good, in historical terms, Koepka might be.

Amid relentless pandemonium, Koepka ran off three straight birdies to end the front nine and seize control.

Woods had made the ideal start by holing from 15 feet for birdie on the first and five feet for another on the second, before nearly chipping in on the fourth after finding trouble off the tee.

Brooks Koepka's rise through the ranks of golf has been so meteoric the new world No.2 hasn't even grasped that he is already one of the greats.

"I played hard", he said after finishing the tournament at 14-under 266.

He closed with a 4-under 66 for a two-shot victory over Woods and took his place among the elite in golf.

Adam Scott walked away from the US PGA Championship with plenty of positives, despite wasting an opportunity to clinch his second major title. Reigning Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau each made the cut at the PGA Championship but slipped outside the top 30. It was Kern's first major appearance and the first event in which he has competed against Tour professionals. Finau will take a week off, then begin the FedEx Cup Playoffs on August 23.

You can find the full USA rankings here.

In many ways, this felt like old times for the 42-year-old _ he of the multiple back surgeries who couldn't swing a club a few years back, but has now contended on the back nine in consecutive majors, only to come up short, more agonizingly so this time than at Carnoustie three weeks ago. Not since Woods won four in a row through the 2001 Masters has anyone won majors at such an alarming rate. But he missed his first seven fairways, and was scrambling from various depths of rough on every non-par-3 hole.

At this major, it wasn't enough.

"Even if I make birdie there and give myself a chance on the last". "And now to be part of the Ryder Cup conversation, going from where I've come from to now in the previous year, it's been pretty cool".

Koepka was responsible for that. He parred No. 16, couldn't birdie the par-5 17th because of a wayward tee shot and rolled in a 19-footer for birdie on No. 18 to put some pressure on Koepka.

With his 264, Koepka set the record for the lowest 72-hole score in a PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods was back ya' least for one Sunday in August.

"Three majors at 28 - it's a cool feeling", Koepka said.

Four others - Koepka, 2017 PGA victor Justin Thomas, Masters victor Patrick Reed and top-ranked Dustin Johnson, had already clinched berths no matter how they fared this week.

"I missed putts on 14 and 15 and Brooks didn't and my momentum was gone", Scott said.

Speaking after his third-round 66, Woods admitted the delay in play over the course of the weekend has taken it's toll on him. "There's something inside his brain that makes him believe that that's what he's destined to do". In fact, Finau had more birdies than any player in the field for the week and even had two more than victor Brooks Koepka did at this week's major at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

Thomas Bjorn might have seen it coming.

A likely fight to the last day between the two and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen was joined by Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, who shared 10th.

Koepka jumped two clear of Scott when he followed his birdie at 15 with another at the tough 16th, where he drilled a stunning 247-yard long-iron to six feet, a shot he described as one of the best of his career.

That was as good as it got. Woods had to get up and down from a bunker to save par.

He had a 20-foot putt on No. 16 to capture a share of the lead, but pushed it barely off line.

As Woods made his move, the crowd certainly let the on-course leader know with an ever increasing volume of sound that greeted nearly every shot, reaching a crescendo when Woods birdied the final hole.

"They were loud and they stayed around and it has been incredible", Woods said.

"I actually never thought about that", Koepka said, grinning as he turned that potential reality over in his mind.

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