Had Brooks Koepka found the green on No. 12 during the final round of the Masters, he may very well be 18 holes away from his fourth major championship in 11 months.
Koepka, however, rinsed his tee shot on that historic day. He double-bogeyed 12 about 15 minutes before Tiger Woods would post a Masters-clinching par. Woods would eventually beat Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Dustin Johnson by one shot at Augusta National.
Since that ill-fated moment on 12, Koepka beat Woods by a total of 18 shots over 42 holes head-to-head before Tiger bowed out at Bethpage Black Friday.
- SCORES: 101st PGA Championship
It’s likely Koepka will have to settle for merely participating in his second consecutive Wanamaker Trophy award ceremony sometime around 7 p.m. Sunday after winning the 101st PGA Championship. A victory would overlap his two straight U.S. Open titles – including the one won at Shinnecock Hills last June 53 miles to the east on Long Island.
The narrative that he does not get enough credit for his success will likely finally be silenced.
He’ll be a top-trending topic on social media. He’ll be the lead story across all of sports media. And he’ll remain the only champion sports fans in the Big Apple have celebrated since the 2011 New York Giants.
But Koepka would be foolish to change his “me against the world” mindset. It’s already paid huge dividends at age 29. He’s the defending PGA Tour Player of the Year, is ranked No. 3 in the world and morphed the mighty and feared Black into his own personal practice range.
His combination of mind and muscle through 54 holes overwhelmed a field that once boasted 99 of the world’s top 100 golfers.
Maybe Justin Thomas was on to to something?
Koepka will begin play Sunday 12-under overall, holding a record 7-shot edge heading into the final round.
There is nothing but honesty in Koepka.
Here’s what Koepka said when asked if he had doubt that he would win Sunday:
“No. I feel — I feel confident. I feel good. I feel excited. I’m excited. I was excited just to get to the course today, and then try to build that lead.”
Does this sound like a guy who’s worried about blowing a big lead Sunday?
The battle for second place at the PGA Championship carries plenty of intrigue. Harold Varner III, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, Luke List and Brooks’ Bash Brother Dustin Johnson are tied for second at 5-under.
Each delivers a storyline will allow Jim Nantz and Company to feign uncertainty as they desperately deliver their best soliloquy while trying to retain any viewers who might stumble onto Koepka’s five-hour coronation.
Koepka and Varner III will be the final pairing Sunday, teeing off at 2:35 p.m. Follow all the action right here.
6:42 p.m.: Koepka made par on the final hole at Bethpage Black to win PGA Championship for the second-straight year. He finishes the round 4-over 74 and 8 over through four rounds.
6:35 p.m.: Koepka bogeyed the 17th hole. He is now 4 over for the day and 8 over in the tournament, two strokes ahead of Dustin Johnson.
6:29 p.m.: Dustin Johnson finishes 1-under 69 and is at 6 under for the tournament, three strokes behind Brooks Koepka. Koepka is playing the 17th hole.
6:13 p.m.: Make that another bogey for Johnson. He is now three strokes behind Koepka after bogeying No. 17.
6 p.m.: Dustin Johnson takes a bogey on 16 after just missing on a six-foot putt for par. His approach shot sailed over the green and he was unable to get up and in without giving up a shot. D.J. is now back to 7-under overall and trails Koepka again by 2.
5:51 p.m.: Make it four straight bogeys for Brooks Koepka on holes 11-14. Where he was once 7 shots clear of the field Sunday he is now just 1-up on Dustin Johnson. And this place is going wild.
5:44 p.m.: We have a tournament! Dustin Johnson has moved to within two shots of Brooks Koepka after D.J. birdied No. 15 for the fourth time in this tournament. Johnson moved to 8-under overall. Meanwhile, Koepka recorded back-to-back-to-back bogeys on holes 11, 12 and 13. Koepka began the day with what seemed like an insurmountable lead. Now, he trails one of his best friends by just two.
5:25 p.m.: Brooks Koepka recorded back-to-back bogeys on holes 11 and 12. He is now 1 over through 12 holes and 11 under on the tournament. He sits four strokes ahead of Dustin Johnson.
4:55 p.m.: With a birdie on No. 10, Brooks Koepka moves to 13 under. He now has a five-stroke lead over Dustin Johnson in second place.
4:46 p.m.: Jordan Spieth bogeyed No. 12 and moved back to even par on the round through 12 holes. He is T-5 at 3 under.
4:23 p.m.: Dustin Johnson birdied No. 9 and moves to 8 under, four strokes behind Brooks Koepka.
4:14 p.m.: Jordan Spieth recorded a birdie on No. 10. He now sits 1 under through 10 holes in solo fifth.
4:04 p.m.: Jordan Spieth has made par on every hole Sunday and remains T-5 at 3 under.
3:54 p.m.: Dustin Johnson birdied No. 6 and is now five strokes behind Koepka at 7 under.
3:45 p.m.: Brooks Koekpa birdied the fourth hole to move back to even par on the round. He leads Dustin Johnson by six strokes at 12 under.
3:32 p.m.: After Jazz Jazz Janewattananond bogeyed his first hole of the day, he evened it out with a birdie on No. 4.
3:20 p.m.: Dustin Johnson birdied the fourth hole and now sits in solo second at 6 under. He is 1 under through four holes in Sunday’s round.
3:10 p.m.: Patrick Cantlay has two-straight birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 to T-3 with Matt Wallace and Dustin Johnson. Cantlay is 2 under through five holes.
2:57 p.m.: Brooks Koepka opened his final round with a bogey. It’s not the way the 2018 champion wanted to begin the round, but Koepka still holds a five-stroke lead over Harold Varner III in second place.
2:50 p.m.: Harold Varner III jumps to solo second after a birdie on his first hole. He sits six strokes behind Koepka.
2:46 p.m.: Hideki Matsuyama birdied his second hole of the day. He joins a group of four other golfers at T-2.
2:45 p.m.: It was fun while it lasted. Matt Kuchar drops even further down the leaderboard after a bogey on 14- his third of the day. Tied for 28th at 3 over, Kuchar is 1 over through 14 holes.
2:36 p.m.: Matt Wallace birdied his second hole of the day and has risen to T-2 at 5 under.
2:30 p.m.: Danny Willett is 2 under through 5 holes with three birdies and a bogey. He sits T-11 at 2 under.
2:18 p.m.: Patrick Cantlay birdies his first hole of the day to move to T-6 at 4 under.
2:10 p.m.: Abraham Ancer went 2 under on the front nine Sunday with three birdies and a bogey. He rose 12 spots to sit T-14 at even par through nine holes.
1:52 p.m.: Matt Kuchar looked like me might crack the top 10 on the front nine, but the 40-year-old recorded a double bogey on 11 that sent him tumbling down the leaderboard to T-24 at 2 over. Kuchar is even par through 11 holes on the round.
1:40 p.m.: He’s not in contention, but Brandt Snedeker is sneaking up the leaderboard on Sunday. Snedeker is 3 under through 15 holes with five birdies and two bogeys. He has jumped 28 places to T-20 at 1 over.
1:27 p.m.: Phil Mickelson finished the final round with three-straight bogeys. He shot a 76 on Sunday and finished the tournament at 12 over. Mickelson totaled a birdie, five bogeys and a double bogey on Sunday.
1:12 p.m.: Matt Kuchar bogeyed No. 7 to fall to T-17 at even par. He is 2 under through eight holes on Sunday. Chez Reavie birdied his first hole of the day. He now sits T-14 at 1 under.
12:52 p.m.: Rory McIlroy recorded a birdie on No. 4. He is 1 under through 4 holes to sit T-24 at 1 over.
12:51 p.m.: Like Matt Kuchar, Aaron Wise has also jumped 12 spots to T-12 on Sunday after going 3 under through five holes.
12:50 p.m.: With a birdie on No. 6, Matt Kuchar jumped to T-12 at 1 under. He is 3 under through six holes.
12:36 p.m.: Phil Mickelson has struggled at Bethpage Black in the final round. He is 3 over through 15 holes with two bogeys, a double bogey on No. 6 and a birdie on No. 8. Mickelson is currently T-64 at 9 over.
12:24 p.m.: Matt Kuchar has jumped 10 spots to T-16 at even par after going 2 under through four holes. Kuchar has three birdies and a bogey on No. 2.
12:17 p.m.: Burgoon bogeyed the seventh hole to fall to T-22 at 1 over. He is 2 under through seven holes on the day.
12:02 p.m.: Bronson Burgoon jumped 23 places Sunday morning. While he is not in contention at even par and T-16, he is 3 under through six holes, recording three-straight birdies on holes 3 through 5.
PGA Championship week on TV
Morning Drive: 6-8 a.m.
Golf Central Live: From the PGA Championship: 8-11 a.m.
Golf Central Live: From the PGA Championship: 7-9 p.m.
Final Round Live Action: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
WatchTNT.com Simulcast: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Final Round Live Action: 2-7 p.m.
CBSSports.com Simulcast: 2-7 p.m.
Featured Group No. 1: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Featured Group No. 2: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Featured Holes 16, 17, & 18: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.