Brooks Koepka thought Sunday at the PGA Championship would be a walk in the park. Turns out, he went in the wrong direction all day in the final round.
Brooks Koepka had a shot at history on Sunday at the PGA Championship. Koepka was trying to become the first player to win three consecutive PGA Championships since the event went to stroke play in 1958 and the first time overall since Walter Hagan won four in a row from 1924-27.
He found himself two shots behind leader Dustin Johnson with 18 holes to play. However, Koepka was very confident, especially after Saturday’s round. When asked to assess his competition for Sunday, specifically Johnson, Koepka indicated that he liked his chances. He was also quick to point out that Johnson has one just one major in his career. His comments came off as not only confident, but many saw them as cocky.
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The Floridian was counting on the fact that he has won four majors in his career, two at the PGA Championship and two at the U.S. Open. Koepka thought that his experience in dealing with major championship pressure would carry him through Sunday’s round and on to victory.
However, something odd happened on Sunday at TPC Harding Park. Whether it was Koepka’s overconfidence, if it was just a bad day for him on the course or if the other players just outplayed him, Koepka was really not in the mix in the final round.
Koepka bogeyed the second hole and never could seem to get anything going on the front nine. When he bogeyed the seventh and eighth holes consecutively, he fell to 4-under par and found himself six shots behind the current leaders.
Meanwhile, a number of players were making moves up the leaderboard, some passing Koepka on their way up. Ironically, those included players with little to no major championship experience, players like Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa.
Koepka was trying to set a new record for the fastest time between winning a first and fifth major. Tiger Woods holds the current record of 1,225 days. Koepka was attempting to do it in 1,148 days, but his quest came up short on Sunday.
While Koepka was banking on his experience carrying him on Sunday, he may now have another experience to draw on the next time he finds himself in a similar situation. That will be of the experience of being very confident, perhaps too confident, entering a final round and coming up short when being outplayed by your competition. That’s where Koepka ended his day on Sunday.