On golf: is Brooks Koepka Golf & # 39; s new king? His competition would find a good word

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – It had to be Rory McIlroy, who would keep winning the big golf championships in bunches. Then it turned out that it might be Jordan Spieth or Dustin Johnson or Jason Day. Maybe it would be Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood or Justin Thomas.

But one of those gaggle was expected on top of a wave that would anoint the next dominant grand champion of golf. Instead, Brooks Koepka has stolen his kingdom for now.

However, the vanquished did not give up the fight. Not at a distance.

Or, as Fleetwood said late on Sunday afternoon, "It's not over yet."

Despite some late, exciting moments, Koepka, who held a seven-shot lead Sunday, held to win the PGA Championship at the formidable Black Course at Bethpage State Park. The defensive P.G.A. champion, Koepka won for the fourth time in the last eight major championships he played. Because he also won the United States Open in 2017 and 2018, he is the first man to simultaneously have back-to-back titles in two majors. He will soon take the top position in the world ranking of golfing.

But the most prominent challengers of Koepka, although impressed by Koepka's performance, did not boast his ascension.

Rose, who participated in the tournament as the world's # 2 player, appeared to be playing Koepka everywhere except the Black Course.

"This course was in his wheelhouse; it suited his skills, and he is clearly at the top of his game," Rose said outside the scoring area Sunday afternoon after finishing 29th. "If we were to play this course for the rest of the time, I would be worried. But we won't."

Day, 2015 P.G.A. winner, admitted that Koepka had dominated the majors in the last two seasons, but he denied that the rest of the field would be intimidated by his series of victories.

"No, if it was Tiger, probably," Day, who stuck before the 23rd, said regarding Tiger Woods. "Tiger is really the only man. Brooks is starting to place himself in that category, but there are really only a few guys who, if they are at the top of the rankings, can't catch them.

" But no, not right now. If Brooks continues to do what he does, it will certainly have an impact on all of us. "

Fleetwood packed his things in a bag next to his locker in the clubhouse behind the 18th green. His message?

" He is clearly the one who wins all majors; we all see that, & Fleetwood said. "I think it is good for everyone to strive for something. It is where we all want to be, and it will not stop the rest of us from trying very, very hard to get there."

Everywhere in terms of competitors there was also a certain amount of bewilderment about some of the details of Koepka's success. One example: the speed with which Koepka has achieved four major victories – his first main title was in June 2017 – seems to surprise his colleagues. Especially since in five years on the PGA Tour, Koepka has only won two non-major tournaments.

"I just don't understand why he doesn't do it more often," McIlroy said after shooting 69 on Sunday to finish eighth in a draw. "That is my thing. He clearly addresses these ideas with the majors, and he really goes and comes in a different kind of state."

And then there was the question of how long Koepka had his impressive series of top performances. can expand in recent major championships (he finished second behind Woods on this year's Masters).

"In the end, everything comes to an end; it's more like managing the lows when you're at the top," Day said. "He will be in great shape and has been and then he will get a bit of a grind. And then he will have to work hard at it."

Day laughed.

"Although every time I talk to him, he is fishing or doing something on the boat," Goodbye said. "He doesn't seem to have to practice hard at all. He is a good guy and plays so well, so there it is. But people don't realize how hard it is to keep it going."

When he was in When the Black Course practice turned green, Day pointed in the direction of McIlroy, who was surrounded by reporters

] "The guy there does that," Day continued.

McIlroy hesitated to advise Koepka.

"The great thing for me was, you know, say no to things," he said. "Just making sure that golf and your performance are still the No. 1 priority. But I don't know his routines. I don't know Brooks very well."

McIlroy was not the only golfer to confess in the dark when it came to the new dual PGA champion.

Graeme McDowell, the 2010 United States Open champion, said on Sunday that he didn't know Koepka very well either, and added, "but I may know him better than most."

McDowell described a player who is driven by an everlasting feeling that he is the little underdog.

"You can't teach someone to think like Brooks Koepka thinks," McDowell said.

According to McDowell, Koepka gets himself to a champion level "through small tokens, through the negative comments he gets from people."

This is the new player who controls the men's golf domain.

Koepka, however, still has a long way to go to make golf forget some of its predecessors in that position.

Paul Casey, who came to the tournament in 12th place in the world, was asked to compare what Koepka has achieved Woods' record in his prime.

"You could say Brooks & # 39; s maj or the execution is similar lately, & # 39; Casey said." But then Tiger was on tour every week, right? "

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