Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Tiger Woods in 'uncharted territory' after rising from rock bottom

Brooks Koepka PGA Championship Brooks Koepka shot an incredible 63 yesterday
Shannon Reynolds | 14 August, 2018, 19:40

Brooks Koepka waves to the crowd after making his birdie putt on the 15th green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. Woods finished just two strokes back of Brooks Koepka with a 14-under 266 at the PGA Championship, including an outrageous 6-under 64 on Sunday.

Woods battled back from shooting an even 70 in the first round, posting a 66 on both Friday and Saturday before ratcheting it up a notch on Sunday. It was the best early number for a final round at the major since 2009, according to Nielsen.

"It was a struggle, I found a little bit of something on the back nine, I was hanging in with my mind basically, it kind of got me through".

He is now ranked 26th in the official World Golf Ranking, after ranking 656th at the start of the golf season.

Woods has never been someone who was satisfied with second.

At the year's final major, he reiterated that claim.

"If there isn't someone who just sticks out as a hot player, we'll take the best player available", Furyk said.

"I'm just thankful to be here". I'd really like to see him win a regular event first though because I think that would make a huge difference the next time he's in-the-mix at a major and that's certainly not beyond him. With Davis Love serving as a captain twice and [Steve] Stricker being our Presidents Cup captain past year, they intimately know these players and know them very well.

In the frenzy of excitement that greeted Tiger Woods making his final round charge, it is nearly easy to forget that Woods did not actually win anything in St Louis.

If the former Boys and Youths worldwide picked up the traditional caddie's 10pc cut of Koepka's $1.98m US PGA and $2.16m US Open wins, plus a smaller percentages of the American's $6.4m earnings this year, he's already more than $500,000 richer.

However, Koepka was immune to the pressure and calmly went about his business.

Having backed Brooks before the off it was a very straightforward week and having the likes of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and each-way pick, Gary Woodland, all in-the-mix throughout the week meant I didn't really get too involved in-running. As you can see in the caption, there is a joke about Koepka having to "keep Woods away" from his girlfriend.

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As Woods made his move, the crowd certainly let the on-course leader know with an ever increasing volume of sound that greeted nearly every shot, reaching a crescendo when Woods birdied the final hole.

"You definitely heard Tiger's roars".

"It's pretty obvious when Tiger makes a birdie".

I fancied Koepka to get the job done when it was clearly just a three-man race, I'd already layed him at odds-on on Saturday, and with two players challenging him, it would have diluted the winning far too much if I'd have covered them both so I made a decision to let it ride.

Behind every great man is a great woman, and Koepka is no exception. Koepka won two of the three majors he played this year, and three of his last six.

Koepka joins Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to win the US Open and PGA championship in the same season.

"Three majors at 28 - it's a cool feeling", said Koepka, who five years ago was toiling in Europe's minor leagues.

While the good times have seemingly come back for golf and the networks who broadcast the sport, we got a rather scary preview of what's to come when Tiger one day stops being a factor.

"I missed the preparation".

Now a United States citizen, Elliott admitted he was anxious when Koepka was forced to sit out the first four months of the year with a wrist injury but reckons he's now a strong player because of that.

"If we put McIlroy as the elder statesman of the post-Tiger generation so you have the likes of Spieth, who has three majors as well, think how much we talk about Spieth - he's level with Spieth".

It was not to be, but Scott was happy with his overall display in a performance that hints at a return to the top. The other was in 2010, when he was coming off the scandal in his personal life that kept him out of golf until the 2010 Masters, and he finished the qualifying period at No. 12. Scott said of his game.

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