Tiger Woods Roars Back Into Major Contention, But Brooks Koepka Wins PGA
Posted on: August 13, 2018, 08:00h.
Last updated on: August 13, 2018, 07:05h.
Tiger Woods had the large crowds at Bellerive Country Club roaring on Sunday afternoon, but it was the quiet demeanor of Brooks Koepka, now almost a lock for Player of the Year, who ended the 100th PGA Championship atop the leaderboard.
Koepka fended off a 6-under 64 from Woods. His 4-under 66 was more than enough for the 28-year-old to win his second major of the year, and third of his career.
Winning three majors before turning 30 puts Koepka in elite company. The only other players to do so are named Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Woods, and Jordan Spieth.
The photographers, and large crowds, stayed with Woods as he lit up Bellerive and was in contention for the second straight major. An errant drive, however, on the par-5 17th seemingly ended Tiger’s chances.
Two groups behind, Koepka and Adam Scott heard the roars ahead, but enjoyed a much quieter playing environment.
Everybody on the golf course could hear it,” Koepka said of Woods’ crowds. “You could hear it trickle down as they changed the scoreboards. You’d hear different roars every three seconds. It was pretty obvious when Tiger made a birdie.”
“Other than me and my team, I think everybody was rooting for Tiger,” Koepka continued. “As they should. He’s the greatest player to ever to play the game. To duel it out with him, I don’t think I ever dreamed of that situation today.”
Time to Respect Koepka
Heading into the PGA, Las Vegas oddsmakers certainly had Koepka as one of the favorites, but several players had shorter lines than the back-to-back US Open winner.
Dustin Johnson was the favorite at 9/1. Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy were next at 12/1. Koepka teed off on Thursday with his line at 18/1 at the Westgate SuperBook.
After shooting a 1-under 69 on Thursday on a day when Gary Woodland fired 64, Rickie Fowler a 65, and 15 players were at -3 or better, Koepka’s line lengthened to 25/1.
Bettors who placed money on Brooks Thursday night netted $2,500 for every $100 wagered. After round three when Koepka commanded a two-shot lead, his odds were 2/3, or implied odds of 60 percent.
The golfing world will now need to wait eight months to see if the then-43-year-old Woods will be able to complete the greatest comeback in the sport’s history and win a 15th major.
The SuperBook already has odds on the 2019 Masters, and Tiger opens at just 12/1. Only Spieth has a shorter line (10/1). Tiger shares 12/1 with Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas.
Woods has plenty of golf left to play in 2018. Along with the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which he now sits in 20th position, Tiger is almost a lock for a captain’s pick at the Ryder Cup in September.
And then there’s the Tiger vs. Phil Mickelson spectacle to be played Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas. After his strong PGA performance, odds have shortened on Woods in the head-to-head match.
The SuperBook has Tiger at -200, Phil at +170.
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