Koepka endures late storm to conquer fourth place at PGA Championship

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The 29-year-old refocused after a serious wobble to triumph through two shots of the fast-finishing Dustin Johnson and became only the fourth player to four major points scored titles in the series of eight events.

The muscular Floridan is the first player to win his first four majors within two years and the first in history to win two back-to-back majors simultaneously after the landing of consecutive US Opens in 2017 and 2018

Koepka led by seven to the last day and looked forward to the Wanamaker Trophy for a mini-meltdown – four straight bogeys – on the back nine hit him back to only one release of good friend and then the world No. .1 Johnson, the only other player in his baseball field.

Rowdier elements from the already raw New York crowd chanted "DJ, DJ" at Koepka when they felt late sport in the tub of Bethpage Black.

Memories flew back to other famous collapses, such as the setbacks of Jordan Spieth & # 39; s Masters when he lost a five-shot lead in 2016 with nine to play. Or the similar Augusta agonies of Rory McIlroy or Greg Norman.

But with Koepka at his mercy, Johnson limped on the 16th and 17th to finish six, and although Koepka dropped a shot on the 17th he had done enough to get a wire-to-wire victory in a record-breaking week that also brought him back to the top of the world ranking.

"That was a stressful round of golf, DJ [Johnson] played great. I'm just happy to have this thing back in my hands," Koepka said during the trophy presentation ceremony on the 18th green.

"I don't love you, I heard the songs, I heard everything." He did an incredible job and put me under pressure "

" It's incredible, I don't even know if I have dreamed of this. This is so cool. "

READ: Dominant Koepka sevens clearly shot in US PGAREAD: Koepka accuses Woods crashes on BethpageREAD: Woods struggles while Koepka flies freely around US PGA

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Like Arnold Schwarzenegger & # 39; s Terminator, Koepkas undoubtedly got out of the firestorm of hot young professionals who were trying to be The Next One, and his main accusation seems to suggest that he is the true heir to Tiger Woods, the Masters champion he defeated after 17 rounds with 17 shots.

Koepka was six when Woods won the first of his 15 majors with the Masters in 1997, and he grew up with the idea of ​​his fellow countryman that golfers should be athletes, his body sculpted in the fitness room makes eye-catching power possible, which he marries with a soft touch and a non-blinking focus. A Tour events has won, his talent in the toughest jobs and in the most difficult circumstances has made him an important machine.

Other players have enjoyed large series in short bursts, such as McIlroy, whose four titles came in just over three years, or Padraig Harrington & three in just over a year.

But Koepka & # 39; s kind of dominance of majors has not been seen since Woods' six titles between 2005 and 2008. If the epic number 2000-2001 of the former world ran No.1, when he was all four had the titles at the same time, it is still the measure of supremacy, Koepka's current tear suggests that no one would be surprised if he came close. No player has won three direct US Opens since 1905, but Koepka will be Pebble Beach's favorite favorite next month.

"It has been so nice for the past two years, I don't think anyone would think I would do it so quickly," Koepka told a press conference. "To stand here with four majors is astonishing, today is the most satisfying because of how stressful that round was. I know for a fact that I was most excited that I was there at 18 in my life."

& # 39; Motivation & # 39;

Koepka's opening 63 was a track record at Bethpage Black and his 65 Friday gave him the lowest 36-hole score in the great history with 128. His seven-shot lead in the final round was also a PGA Championship record when he became the first player since Woods in 2007 to win the back-to-back PGA Championship titles.

Koepka unveiled a "number" for important titles earlier this week. "I don't understand why you can't get double digits [majors]," he told reporters. Only Walter Hagen (11), Woods (15) and Jack Nicklaus (18) have ever won more than nine major titles in the men's competition.

But for all his explosive exploits on the golf course, Koepka follows a paradoxical line with his public image. He is naturally reluctant to be in the spotlight, and yet he is easily confused when he notices that he is not getting the attention he should receive.

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"I use it as a motivation," he says. His flat posture on the job is a deliberate trick to stay focused and to guard against his hothead as a young person, he says. But it works against him in public, while fans and media crave characters.

Young Koepka started playing golf after a car accident ended his dreams of making it into baseball, basketball, and other more athletic sports.

After graduating from the state of Florida, he chose not to follow his contemporaries through the usual qualifying school route to a professional career in the US and in 2012 participated in Europe & # 39; s two-day Challenge Tour

He traveled extensively, from Kenya to Kazakhstan, learned his trade, received life experiences and grew up. "It was the best time of my life," he said.

Four wins led to his European Tour card and a win in Turkey in 2014 drove him back to the American PGA Tour, where he won a first title the following year.

Koepka discovered his big mojo at the 2017 US Open in Erin Hills, and is now building an oeuvre that can serve as a blueprint for future generations.

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