Tiger electrifies, nevertheless falls short to Koepka at PGA

Tiger electrifies, nevertheless falls short to Koepka at PGA

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eleven:12 PM ET

  • Bob HarigESPN Senior Writer


    • Senior golf creator for ESPN.com
    • Lined golf for better than Two decades
    • Earned Evans Scholarship to back Indiana University

ST. LOUIS — Tiger Woods waited near the scoring notify after posting his simplest final round in a critical, able to supply congratulations to the winner of the PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka — the man he could not reel in Sunday at Bellerive Country Membership.

Koepka won his 2d critical championship of the year, and Woods done 2d for the ninth time in a critical, nevertheless it used to be not easy to not gape the 14-time critical champion in a obvious light after he stirred the hundreds to the verge of anxiousness.

“I could hear it,” Koepka acknowledged and smiled as Woods hugged him afterward, acknowledging beautiful how boisterous it used to be up forward as Woods used to be making eight birdies in a round of Sixty four.

It did not bring a 15th critical championship, and you must completely quibble about the misplaced alternatives alongside the vogue.

However will must you resolve in mind that Sixty four is Woods’ lowest final round, in his eightieth critical championship, and that his safe of 266 is his lowest Seventy two-gap total, it used to be a ambitious efficiency.

Gary Woodland, who conducted with Woods within the final round, saw it up shut.

“The ball flight, he controls it,” Woodland acknowledged. “The putter used to be awesome. He hit deal of correct putts that did not poke in, as smartly. Sixty-four, and it appeared pretty easy, to be staunch with you.

“The energy within the gang, that used to be as mountainous a crowd as I’ve seen and to play in front of, and he beautiful roughly ho-hummed a Sixty four there. I mediate he can have shot mighty better than he did.”

Woods struggled off the tee, making Sunday’s safe the total more excellent. He did not hit a single fairway — Zero-for-7 — on the front nine nevertheless soundless made four birdies and shot 32, hitting his 9-iron from beautiful off the cart help on the ninth gap to 10 toes for a birdie among his more excellent feats.

“I did not force it correct all day,” acknowledged Woods, who hit beautiful 5 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens. “I was combating my golf swing. I warmed up hitting it left, I was hitting it ethical with every single club, even my sand wedge I wasn’t doing very correct. So I knew this used to be going to be a fight to substantiate out and fragment together a round and I did.”

No subject missing the fairway on the first, Woods hit his scheme to 7 toes — and ignored the birdie putt. However he stuffed iron pictures to four and 2 toes on the following two holes, then after a bogey on the sixth he birdied the eighth and ninth and for a time used to be inner one shot of Koepka.

Woods in the end came precise thru his first fairway on the tenth, left a birdie putt on the lip on the eleventh, then birdied the 12th and 13th holes with approaches inner 10 toes. A bogey on the 14th used to be the end result of a ignored fairway, nevertheless he rebounded with a birdie on the 15th.

If Woods used to be going to have of enterprise, he had to have a birdie on the seventeenth, nevertheless he all all over again could not safe the fairway, almost knocking his driver precise into a creek that borders the ethical aspect, from where he used to be in a notify to advance the ball only 60 yards. Woods had to face up and down from a bunker to save deal of par.

However on the 18th, he nailed a force 320 yards, knocked his scheme to 19 toes and made the putt, giving a fist pump and getting a gigantic ovation as he left the course and walked precise thru a bridge to the scoring notify.

His caddie, Joe LaCava, observed the emotion, the fireplace.

“Or not it has been a whereas, to be staunch with you,” he acknowledged. “Even in ‘Thirteen, when he won 5 occasions, participant of the year, there weren’t deal of fist pumps. I mediate from the total labor he’s attach in, he’s beginning to reward himself, so as to communicate. He’s pretty pumped for himself, he’s attach in deal of labor.”

Woods used to be overjoyed to salvage that closing birdie, shining that he wanted to — on the time — not less than tie Adam Scott and give himself an outside probability that he realized used to be unlikely.

“I posted [minus-] 14, and that intended he [Koepka] would deserve to shoot something within the 60s,” Woods acknowledged. “He could not invent a bunch of pars and lift the golf match. He went accessible and made a bunch of birdies.”

Woods has conducted 14 tournaments in 2018 and made a excellent upward thrust. When he began the season at Torrey Pines in January, he used to be ranked 656th on this planet. He has now moved as much as Twenty seventh. He could well be Twentieth in FedEx Cup aspects, that scheme he’s a lock for the first three FedEx Cup playoff events and in correct notify to invent the Tour Championship for the pause 30.

He wanted a victory to transfer into the pause eight automatic qualifiers for the U.S. Ryder Cup crew, nevertheless moved to eleventh and soundless is all nevertheless obvious to salvage unquestionably one of captain Jim Furyk’s at-mountainous picks.

A year within the past today, Woods had but to beginning up swinging a golf club consequently of the spinal-fusion surgical treatment he continued in April 2017. When he used to be an assistant captain for Steve Stricker on the Presidents Cup, he noted that he used to be hitting only chip pictures and acknowledged, “I kind not know what my future holds.”

Now he has contended at two critical championships, posted 5 top-10 finishes and moved help among the pause 30 on this planet.

“This has been a job on constructing,” he acknowledged. “I did not know after I was going to beginning up this year and the scheme many tournaments I was going to play, how smartly I was going to play. I did not know what swing I was going to spend, either. I’m in uncharted territory. Attributable to nobody’s ever had a fused backbone hitting it love I’m hitting it.

“So I had to roughly resolve this out on my have, and it be been in actuality not easy, it be loads tougher than of us mediate. And I’m beautiful very overjoyed at what I’ve done to this level, and now to be phase of the Ryder Cup conversation, going from where I’ve advance from to now within the final year, it be been pretty cold.”

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