Brooks Koepka took his place in PGA Championship history with a wire-to-wire victory, minus the style points.
In a raging wind that turned Bethpage Black into a beast, Koepka lost all but one shot of his record seven-shot lead Sunday. He lost the brutal Long Island crowd, which began chanting “DJ!” for Dustin Johnson as Koepka was on his way to a fourth straight bogey.
But he delivered the key shots over the closing stretch as Johnson faded with two straight bogeys, and Koepka closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958.
Koepka said at the start of the week that majors are sometimes the easiest to win.
This one should have been. It wasn’t.
His 74 was the highest final round by a PGA champion since Vijay Singh won in a playoff in 2004 at Whistling Straits.
“I’m just glad I don’t have to play any more holes,” Koepka said. “That was a stressful round of golf. I’m glad to have this thing back in my hands.”
Johnson now has runner-up finishes in all four of the majors, the wrong kind of career Grand Slam.
“I gave it a run,” he said. “That’s all you can ask for.”
Koepka returned to No. 1 in the world with a performance that defines his dominance in golf’s biggest events.
He becomes the first player to hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time, having won a second straight U.S. Open last summer 60 miles down the road at Shinnecock Hills. He was the first wire-to-wire winner in the PGA Championship since Hal Sutton at Riviera in 1983.
Robby Shelton got up-and-down from a bunker to save par on the 18th hole Sunday for an even-par 71, giving him a one-shot victory in the Knoxville Open and his second Web.com Tour victory of the year.
Shelton started the final round at Fox Den Country Club with a two-shot lead and fell behind early with consecutive bogeys as Zhang Xinjun made two early birdies. Shelton started the back nine with back-to-back birdies to regain control.
Mark Anderson began the back nine with an eagle and finished with a birdie and a 68, making Shelton finish with par for the wind.
Shelton finished at 15-under 269.
He won two weeks ago in the Nashville Golf Open, and this victory enabled him to take over the lead from Zhang on the Web.com Tour points list. The top 25 earn PGA Tour cards at the end of the regular season.
Zhang (70), Tim Wilkinson (70) and Mark Hubbard (71) tied for third.
U.S. SENIOR WOMEN’S OPEN
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (AP) — Helen Alfredsson of Sweden closed with 13 straight pars for a 1-over 72, giving her a two-shot victory in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles.
Tied for the lead with Trish Johnson of England going into the final round, Alfredsson made double bogey on the par-3 fifth hole to fall two shots behind. That was her last mistake, and Johnson dropped too many shots to keep up.
Alfredsson finished at 1-over 285.
Juli Inkster, a runner-up last year when the U.S. Senior Women’s Open made its debut at Chicago Golf Club, began the back nine with a bogey on the par-5 10th and finished with eight straight pars for a 70. She was runner-up for the second straight year, joining Johnson at 287.
Alfredsson’s lone major on the LPGA Tour was the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 1993. She was twice a runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Open.
Leona Maguire of Ireland closed with a 6-under 66 for a five-shot victory in the Symetra Classic. It was Maguire’s second victory on the Symetra Tour this year and moved her to the top of the money list. … Celine Herbi of France closed with a 3-under 69 for a one-shot victory in La Reserva de Sotogrande Invitational, her second Ladies European Tour title. … Luke Kwon closed with a 7-under 65 as the American rallied to beat Myles Creighton of Canada by one shot in the Qinhuangdao Championship on the PGA Tour China Series. … Jake Redman shot a 5-under 67 in the final round for a one-shot victory over Toto Thimba and Thriston Lawrence in the Lombard Insurance Classic on the Sunshine Tour. … Min-young Lee closed with a 3-under 69 for a one-shot victory in the Hoken No Madoguchi Ladies on the Japan LPGA Tour. … Ji Hyun Kim won the Doosan Match Play Championship on the Korean LPGA Tour by never trailing against Hyun Soo Kim in a 6-and-4 victory. … Evan Harmeling birdied the 72nd hole for a one-shot victory in the Jamaica Classic on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Augusto Nunez was second at 20 under.