Brooks Koepka Avoids Disaster to Win PGA; Now Becomes US Open Favorite

Posted on: May 19, 2019, 07:14h. 

Last updated on: May 19, 2019, 07:14h.

Brooks Koepka made history entering Sunday with a seven-stroke lead after three rounds at the PGA Championship. He nearly made history again on Sunday, although not nearly in a good way.

Brooks Koepka celebrates after making par on the 18th hole to win his second consecutive PGA Championship. (Image: John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)

Koepka bogeyed four straight holes on the back nine Sunday and watched his seemingly insurmountable lead evaporate to a single stroke. Nonetheless, he was able to hold off Dustin Johnson and win the PGA for the second straight year, beating Johnson by three shots.

After the third round, the Westgate SuperBook listed odds of -1600 on Johnson, meaning a $16 bet would win just $1.

FanDuel posted -1050 odds on Koepka at the start of Sunday’s round. Less than seven hours later, when his lead was down to just two shots with five holes to play, Koepka’s live odds were -270.

On Long Island’s Bethpage State Park’s notoriously tough Black course just outside New York City, Koepka birdied the 10th hole to go to one-under for the round. He followed that with bogeys on the next four. Koepka added one more on the 17th to finish the round four-over par and eight-under for the tournament.

He said he heard the galleries who suddenly started chanting for Johnson.

I think I kind of deserved it,” Koepka said. “You’re going to rattle off four in a row and it looks like you’re going to lose it; I’ve been to sporting events in New York. I know how it goes.”

With the win, Koepka won his fourth major title. Those wins have all come in the last two years. He also became the top-ranked golfer in the world thanks to Sunday’s win.

He ended up calling Sunday’s win the “most satisfying” of his four major titles because of the back nine pressure.

Bettors Backed Brooks (Mostly)

Despite having won the last two PGAs, Koepka did not enter Bethpage Black as the consensus favorite. While William Hill had Koepka as the 8-1 favorite before the tournament, the SuperBook went with Tiger Woods, fresh off his historic win at the Masters last month, as its favorite at 8-1.

Koepka and Johnson were listed at 10-1 each at the Westgate book.

However, Jeff Sherman, golf oddsmaker at the SuperBook, tweeted that more bets were placed on Koepka than any other golfer, while more money was bet on Woods. That included a $10,000 wager on Woods when his odds were 10-1.

Woods ended up missing the cut after Friday’s round.

US Open Odds Released

Golf’s next major takes place Father’s Day weekend when the world’s best go to Pebble Beach, Calif. for the US Open. Koepka has won the last two US Opens, and oddsmakers are already making him the favorite for this year’s tournament as well.

An hour before Koepka won his second straight PGA Championship, the SuperBook’s Sherman listed Koepka as the 5-1 favorite to win next month. Johnson, who also finished tied second in last month’s Masters with Koepka, is the second choice at 8-1. Woods meanwhile is 12-1, and Rory McIlroy is 14-1.

Earlier Sunday, Jeff Davis, the director of trading for Caesars Entertainment, posted Koepka at 6-1. Johnson, Woods, and McIlroy were 8-1, 10-1, and 12-1 respectively. On Saturday, MGM’s sportsbook listed Koepka at 5-1, with Johnson 10-1 and Woods and McIlroy 12-1 each.

If Koepka wins the US Open, he’ll join Wille Anderson as the only golfers to win three straight times. Anderson completed his three-peat from 1903-1905.