Spieth fails to join grand slam club

"Could've been a little closer", Woods said.

Scott hung around by making big putts, just like he hoped, and was tied for the lead until Koepka's birdies.

On his ability to come through on the big stage, Koepka told CBS Sports after accepting the trophy, "I think it's my focus".

Koepka knew exactly what to do.

It was Woods' first $1 million prize in over four years.

"I feel like I'm playing really well, the best I have in a while", he said.

In fact, the 31-year-old Kiwi marked his career-best major finish on Monday (NZT) at the US PGA Championship in St Louis, Missouri by bolting pretty much straight for the airport, and the start of the long journey back to New Zealand for a well-deserved three-week hiatus. Woods takes the bogey to sit two shots back of the leaders.

No shots were more important than a four-hole stretch he played in 2 over that turned Sunday into what could be a free-for-all.

Koepka merely put an exclamation mark on his spot, while Justin Thomas showed he's in fine form with a final-round 68 and top-10 finish.

Koepka has made note a couple of times this week that despite winning back-to-back U.S. Opens, he has flown under the radar.

Even more were rooting for plucky defending PGA Championship victor and world No. 2 Justin Thomas, who was in the hunt until he lost his focus over the final five holes.

Tiger Woods, who will be a vice captain for the Americans at Le Golf National, spoke highly of DechamBeau this week.

As word spread that Woods was on the charge, those who weren't already following the former world number one were soon scrambling to join crowds that were 12-deep and lined almost every hole from tee to green.

At this major, it wasn't enough. "I made a bit of a run". "I don't think it'll be rocket science to figure out the small little bits that are missing, and if anything this is motivation to make the most of this year".

Koepka was responsible for that.

For his final three birdies, Finau made a 13-foot putt at No. 14, a 9-footer at No. 15 and a 33-footer at No. 18. He tapped in for par on the final hole to set the PGA Championship scoring record at 264. The 42-year-old hit just five of 14 fairways in the final round, and eventually the wayward tee shots took their toll.

"It's been a pleasure to play in front of them, it really has", Woods said.

It says a lot about how far Ryan Fox has come this year at the pointy end of professional golf that there was a cool detachment, rather than any wild celebration, over his best ever performance at a major. On No. 11, Woods had 27 feet for birdie.

Deadlocked for the lead with Scott and only one stroke ahead of Woods, Koepka sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-4 15th and a six-foot birdie putt at the par-3 16th then parred the last two holes to secure the victory. "I had the most easy, basic, inside right putt that you could possibly have and I made it". "There's something inside his brain that makes him believe that that's what he's destined to do".

On Sunday, it was clear the gallery at Bellerive Country Club wanted to see Tiger Woods turn back time. Brown, who's been to numerous PGA Championships in his life, said he hasn't seen crowds like these before.

And with halfway leader Gary Woodland making a triple bogey on the 10th after hitting from one bunker into another and then back again, Koepka found himself with a four-shot lead.

That was as good as it got.

And Woods's last chance to apply real pressure vanished when he pushed his tee shot on the par-5 17th right of the creek running along the right side of the hole.

Koepka dropped in two birdies to create a buffer.

Just 11 months since the 14-time major champion admitted he "didn't know what the future holds" amid troublesome recovery from a fourth back surgery, Woods has made meaningful challenges for the Open and US PGA.

"It's tough to beat when the guy hits it 340 down the middle", Woods said.

  • Salvatore Jensen