Brooks Koepka After PGA Championship Win: 'That Was a Stressful Round of Golf'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2019

Brooks Koepka poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament, Sunday, May 19, 2019, at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Sunday was supposed to be a stress-free victory lap for Brooks Koepka as he parlayed a commanding seven-stroke lead through three rounds into his second straight PGA Championship title. 

However, four straight bogeys on the back nine from the eventual victor and some timely shots from Dustin Johnson cut Koepka's lead to a single stroke. The four-time major winner eventually clinched the two-stroke win—thanks in no small part to bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 from Johnson—but he admitted he was stressed.

"I'm just glad we didn't have to play any more holes," Koepka said, per Brian Pascus of CBS News. "That was a stressful round of golf. DJ played awesome, but I'm glad to have this thing back in my hands."

It didn't look like Koepka would be stressed at all when he shot a seven-under 63 in the first round and a five-under 65 in the second round. The narrative didn't change when he went on cruise control and shot even par in the third round to build the seven-stroke lead Pascus noted was the largest 54-hole advantage at the PGA Championship since it switched to stroke play in 1958.

That's when he turned in his worst showing of the tournament with a four-over 74 in the final round and added some last-hole drama just for good measure.

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Koepka needed just a bogey on No. 18, but his drive was well off the mark. He scrambled by pitching it onto the fairway, chipping onto the green and sinking his only putt from just inside six feet to save par and the championship.

In the process, he became the first player since Tiger Woods (2006, 2007) to win this tournament two straight years and the first PGA Championship winner to go wire-to-wire since Hal Sutton in 1983.

That Koepka admitted to feeling stressed as his lead shrunk is notable since he has displayed robotic dominance during the last three years with wins at the 2018 U.S. Open, 2018 PGA Championship and 2017 U.S. Open. He played through it Sunday and figures to be a threat at every major for the foreseeable future.