PGA Championship 2019 Live Blog: Brooks Koepka hangs on to win PGA Championship, his fourth major in his last eight tries
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — An eventful, more intriguing-than-we-anticipated Sunday at the PGA Championship still resulted in Brooks Koepka capturing his fourth major title. Our recap of the day's events below:
6:41 p.m.: It got a little hairy at the end, but Brooks Koepka hung on to win the 101st PGA Championship. He saved par at 18 to card a 74, letting out the most emotional fist pump we've ever seen from him. That's four majors in his last eight tries, and he'll now become the No. 1 player in the world. Incredible week.
6:38 p.m.: Koepka flips a wedge into the green perfectly, leaving himself with eight feet for par. OK, it's officially over.
6:36 p.m.: Oh my GOODNESS. Koepka probably wishes he was in the bunker, his ball instead getting stuck in the fescue that guards the bunker. it was also on a downslope, leaving him no option but to pitch out. He did chip out safely into the fairway, and should still be in great shape to make bogey at worst.
6:33 p.m.: Koepka, apparently, wasn't about to start playing safe at the 72nd. He pulls driver from his bag and PULLS it badly left into the fairway bunkers. It's still not over yet.
6:29 p.m.: Oh dear. Brooks Koepka three-putts for bogey at the 17th, which drops him to eight under. He still has a two-shot lead, which is exactly what you want on Sunday at a major at the 72nd hole. But with the way he's finishing, anything is possible here.
6:27 p.m.: Incredible par save from Johnson at 18, giving him four straight rounds in the 70s to finish the tournament. Any other week, that's probably good enough to win.
6:24 p.m.: Koepka smartly plays his tee shot at 17 to the left part of the green. Johnson hits an all-world chip left of the 18th green to a few feet. Would be some par, but it's not going to be enough.
6:21 p.m.: Koepka two-putts for his par, while Dustin Johnson hooks one into the gallery left of the green at the 18th with his second shot. I think Koepka is still going to win.
6:15 p.m.: Koepka finds the putting surface at 16. Dustin misses the fairway right at 18. The fat lady is warming up her vocal chords.
6:12 p.m.: Brooks Koepka hits a laser beam down the middle of the 16th fairway. That should just about do it ... maybe.
6:09 p.m.: DJ misses and taps in his second straight bogey. All of the energy is now gone.
6:08p.m.: Just as it got interesting, Dustin Johnson has completely imploded. A bogey at 16 was followed by his poor tee shot, and he just hit an even worse chip, leaving himself with 20-plus feet just to save par. Oof.
6:05 p.m.: At the par-3 17th, Dustin Johnson flies the green again. Imperative he gets it up and down if he wants to have any chance. Koepka two-putts for his par to stay at nine under.
6:02 p.m.: Koepka had only a gap wedge into the 15th green (ridiculous), but he hit it too far, his ball staying on the back of the green. That'll leave him with a slick down hill putt for birdie.
6 p.m.: Dustin Johnson has been making some big putts all day, but he misses the most important one of his round at the 16th and makes a bogey. Back to seven under, two behind Koepka. Obviously still in it with the way Koepka is playing, but man, he needed that.
5:57 p.m.: After finding the fairway at 16, Dustin Johnson flew the green with a 4-iron, leaving him an incredibly difficult chip shot. He did well to put it to about 10 feet. Needs to make that for par to keep the pressure on. Koepka just hit the 15th fairway, so he's in good shape.
5:52 p.m.: If we didn't already, we officially have a ballgame. Brooks fails to get up-and-down for par to drop back to nine under. He's now just ONE shot ahead. And he nearly wasn't even ahead. After racing his par attempt from the fringe by four feet, Koepka made the comebacker for bogey. Unreal.
5:47 p.m.: Oh, boy. Koepka just airmailed the 14th green. With a front pin. WHAT IS HAPPENING AT BETHPAGE BLACK?! He has some serious work to do to maintain his two-shot lead.
5:44 p.m.: BANG! Dustin Johnson rolls in a rare birdie putt on No. 15 to move to eight under! He's now just two behind Brooks Koepka, who had led by at least three since teeing off on Friday afternoon.
5:40 p.m.: WOW. Koepka lips out a six-footer for par to drop to 10 under. That's three consecutive birdies for a golfer who had seemed completely unflappable previously. Meanwhile, Johnson just hit one to about 10 feet on the difficult 15th. A make would cut the lead to (gulp) two. . .
5:35 p.m.: Koepka's third shot comes up just short of the green on No. 13. He's in a similar spot to where Johnson just two-putted from long range.
5:33 p.m.: Koepka successfully hits his golf ball back onto the 13th hole, but can't quite find the fairway. He'll have more for his third shot than he expected, but overall, not a disaster. Meanwhile, Johnson pars the 14th to remain four back. He's running out of holes, though, and 15-17 at Bethpage Black are not exactly great birdie opportunities.
5:28 p.m.: Koepka winds up getting a good break by ending up in some scraggly rough. He will have no real tree trouble unless he gets really aggressive, and again, this is a par 5. That could have ended up a lot worse.
5:24 p.m.: OK, now things are getting interesting. Koepka pull-hooks his drive on No. 13 left of the gallery. That sends fans and cameramen scrambling. We'll have to see where this turns out.
5:20 p.m.: The lead is back to four after Johnson pars 13 and Koepka makes his second consecutive on No. 12. Things are getting interesting! (Not really. . . )
5:15 p.m.:_ Koepka finds the right rough on the par-4 12th and he hacks out some 40 yards short of the green. That bogey save on the previous hole is looking even more important now because he'll do well to not drop another shot here.
5:10 p.m.: Running out of holes, Johnson desperately needs birdie on the par-5 13th, but his drive finds the right rough, forcing a layup. Even worse is his third shot, which winds up some 50 feet away from the hole. He'll need a good two-putt just to make par.
5:02 p.m.: Johnson makes a ho-hum par at the 12th, while a bit of an interesting development at the 11th. Koepka had to chop out his drive into the fairway, hit a poor third, and just rolled his par attempt six feet by.
And he makes it. That's about as clutch of a six-foot bogey as you'll see.
4:56 p.m.: Better yet, Lucas Glove, playing with Bjerregaard, holes out his bunker shot at the 17th. What a time to be a Lucas.
4:48 p.m.: ACE ALERT. At least according to the scoreboard, with Lucas Bjerregaard apparently recording a hole-in-one on the 17th hole.
4:45 p.m.: That's probably your ballgame. From 160 yards, Koepka hits a gap wedge—repeat, gap wedge—to a foot at the 10th. With Johnson in trouble ahead, the four-shot lead could soon change to six.
4:38 p.m.: If Koepka is feeling any heat from DJ, he's not showing it. Rips another 300-yarder into the fairway at the 10th. Meanwhile, Johnson's approach at the 11th finds a greenside bunker. He blasts it out to 10 feet or so.
4:33 p.m.: Johnson's birdie attempt doesn't break. A par on the 10th is still good, but that could have been a real haymaker.
4:31 p.m.: Johnson puts a nice cut from the fairway, his ball pin high about 12 feet to the right. Spieth just made a putt from this spot earlier, which could make things very interesting.
Speaking of Spieth, he has to lay up on the 12th after finding the rough, and his third stays well above the hole. The bogey drops Spieth into a tie for fifth.
4:20 p.m.: DJ sticks his approach at the ninth to a couple feet to move to eight under...and suddenly, the lead is down to four. He puts a mean hurtin at his drive at the ninth, one of the biggest bombs of the week. A hole behind, Koepka splits the fairway. Things remain loose, for now.
4:11 p.m.: Another two-putt par for Koepka, this time at the seventh. Jazz Janewattananond finds the green at the eighth. The young gun has carried himself well on Sunday, even par for the day and in a tie for third.
4:08 p.m.: Jordan Spieth birdies the 10th, moving to one under for the day and four under for the tournament. Will need DJ to back up a bit, but a runner-up is still in play for Spieth.
4:06 p.m.: Rory finishes up, a one-under 69 to finish at one over. Given he was looking like a miss cut halfway through Friday, a backdoor top-10 is a hell of an effort for the Ulsterman.
4:03 p.m.: Brooks hammers a drive at the seventh with an extremely aggressive line. It catches a branch in on the right-side tree line, but bounces back into the fairway. The ball might have uprooted a tree. We're kidding. Sort of.
3:55 p.m.: From 40 feet, Koepka putts a nice roll at the sixth, should be able to clean that up to stay at 12 under. Johnson does the same at the seventh to keep pace at seven under. Johnson's playing well, two under on the day. But starting to run out of holes.
3:50 p.m.: Matt Wallace, in a tie for third, has a nice leg at the eighth to stay at five under. Back at the seventh, DJ's long birdie comes up short. Koepka is able to mash out his approach at the sixth to the putting surface. Nothing to see here.
3:43 p.m.: Koepka makes a nifty chip to save par at the fifth, as Varner takes a bogey. After birdieing the first, Varner is now five over on his last four holes.
Koepka's drive finds the rough at the sixth. As well as he's played, he's really starting to struggle with the wind off the tee, missing another fairway. Still has a five-stroke advantage, but something to keep an eye on down the stretch.
3:38 p.m.: Johnson converts the birdie as Koepka's drive on the fifth goes into the deep left rough. Koepka's able to chop it over the green, and has some room to work with in getting up-n-down, but a chance to make things interesting here at the fifth.
3:33 p.m.: Koepka's eagle attempt comes up short, but taps in for birdie to return to 12 under. Varner ends up taking double, dropping to three over on the day and now in a tie for ninth.
Ahead, Johnson sticks his approach at the sixth to six feet, giving him a chance to get to seven under.
3:23 p.m.: Oh no. From the deep rough, Varner has a reverse shank, the ball hitting the hosel and flying 50 yards straight left into the woods. After a search, HV3 has to drop back in the high stuff, his fourth shot upcoming.
Meanwhile, Koepka hits an 8-iron onto the green, leaving about 20 feet for eagle.
3:14 p.m.: Brooks pounds his drive at the par-5 fourth, which should leave a 6 or 7 iron in. Varner is now on eject watch, sending his drive sailing to the left.
Ahead, Johnson has just a wedge into the long par-4 fifth. It's not his best effort, but has an uncomplicated 15 feet or so for bird.
3:10 p.m.: On the fourth, Johnson has to lay up after his drive runs through the fairway, but puts his pitch to a few feet for birdie to get to six under. That's good for second after Varner makes a mess of the third, three-putting after his chip was well short of the hole. As for Koepka, has an uneventful par to head to the fourth with a five-shot lead.
3:03 p.m.: At the third, Varner goes short and left, failing to get into the bunker. Going to be tough sledding from there. For his part, Koepka plays a slight draw into the par 3, giving him 20 feet or so for birdie.
2:56 p.m.: Seriously, they are going to be his friend. The lowest score posted on Sunday at Bethpage so far is a two-under 68 from Beau Hossler, who now sits in a tie for 49th. Just six sub-par rounds have been signed for out of the first 34 players to complete their rounds. And as for players on the course, no one is more than two under for their round.
2:55 p.m.: Iron off the tee into the first cut, approach to 16 feet, two putts for par for Koepka on the second hole. WARNING: cliche alert about to come at you: Pars will be Koepka's friend today.
2:49 p.m.: Dustin Johnson gets up and down for par on the par-3 third hole. Par-Par-Par ... going to need to see more from him shortly if he really hopes to get back into this thing, no?
2:45 p.m.: Koepka has an 11 foot putt for par on the first hole ... and he misses! His first bogey on the first six holes at Bethpage all week. Meanwhile, Varner rolls in his birdie putt and suddenly is just five strokes off the lead. An interesting start.
2:43 p.m.: Apologizes to Harold Varner III for not properly introducing him off the first tee. He's the man paired with Koepka in the final twosome, seven shots back of the leader. He's never won on the PGA Tour and his best previous finish in a major is T-66. But he just found the fairway and hit a nifty wedge to about five feet. No jitters there.
2:41 p.m.: If you can't read too much into his first swing, what about his second? Koepka hacks out of the rough but leaves the shot short of the green. Hmmm…
2:35 p.m.: OK ... it's go time for Koepka. Hard to read too much into just one swing, but what will this opening drive on the first hole foreshadow? … He takes his usually aggressive line over the trees on the right side of the fairway, clears them, and the ball rolls into the left rough. Could be better, could be worse.
2:23 p.m.: Another interesting thing about Jazz? He's the only player in the field using a local Bethpage caddie this week. Our Joel Beall wrote this interesting story about Jack Miller, who runs a local grocery store as well as caddies on the Black Course. Before joining Jazz this week, he's been up at 4:30 a.m. each morning opening up his store.
2:21 p.m.: One of the biggest roars of the day comes as Jazz Janewattananond steps to the first tee. Suffice it to say, we never thought we'd be typing those words just a few days ago. We profiled the Thai native yesterday as he posted a three-under 67, the best score of the third round, to get into the foursome tied for second at five under. Impressively, the New York crowds have adopted Jazz this week, and he has A LOT to play for today even if he can't pass Brooks Koepka on the leader board. A top four finish today gets any competitor into the field at this year's U.S. Open and the Open Championship, and next year's Masters.
2:15 p.m.: Dustin Johnson steps to the tee in the third-to-last group. A bogey on the final hole on Saturday cost him the chance to be in the final twosome with his good pal. Is it better to play out front of Koepka, seven shots off the pace and try to set your own tone, or play beside him in the same pairing and try to take him on mano-a-mano? Time will tell but his drive off the first tee runs through the fairway into the heavy rough.
2:05 p.m.: For those curious about how much money all the players can make this week, you can check it out here.
2:01 p.m.: It's been a challenge to find unique angles to put Koepka's play into context, but here's an attempt at one. Should Koepka win this afternoon, he's earn $1.98 million for his efforts. That will make five times since June 2017 that Koepka has cashed a check for more than $1.7 million for winning an event ($2,160,000 for the 2017 U.S. Open, $2,160,000 for the 2018 U.S. Open, $1,980,000 for the 2018 PGA, $1,710,000 for the 2018 CJ Cup)
1:56 p.m.: Brooks Koepka is warming up on the range. It's hard to tell whether he's confident or nervous, his expression rarely changes. Same here when cameras caught him walking on to the grounds at Bethpage not too long ago.
Maybe he does have his game face on … looks like girlfriend Jena Sims was trying to go in for a quick smooch but Brooks wasn't going to have it.
1:48 p.m.: OK, if Fowler putts like this there's no way he's catching Koepka. After hitting his opening tee shot to 15 feet, he three putts for a bogey. Not the way you want to start if you're 11 strokes off the lead.
1:45 p.m.: Jordan Spieth was playing in the final group on Saturday, but his third-round 72 dropped him to nine shots off the pace. He tees off for his final round with some wondering can he be the guy that chases down Koepka. A 73.11 stroke average on Sundays this season suggests it's unlikely.
1:35 p.m.: We're an hour ahead of the final twosome of Brooks Koepka and Harold Varner III, as Rickie Fowler and Sung Kang tee off on the first hole at Bethpage. Fowler starts at one under par, 11 strokes back of Koepka. Does he have a shot at catching him? He himself hinted on Saturday night that it was going to be a long shot. Yep, even the competitors feel like they're going to see a coronation on Sunday.
Earlier: What’s in store for Sunday at the PGA Championship? There seems to be only one answer, doesn’t there? Finding anyone who thinks we won’t be seeing 18-hole victory parade from Brooks Koepka is a challenge. With a seven-stroke lead on the foursome in second place, and only 12 players within 10 strokes entering the final round, Vegas put the odds of Koepka winning at 1/16. Yep, bet $16 to win a buck if pulls it out. Guess who they think is winning?
However, a wise philosopher a former New York Yankee catcher once said, “It’s never over until it’s over.” There is more of a breeze at Bethpage Black today then there has been in the three previous tournament rounds, and there’s an outside chance of some wet weather later in the afternoon. Are those enough variables to throw Koepka off his game? It’s time to tune in with us to see what’s in store for the final round where history is likely to be made, one way or the other.