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SportBrooks Koepka will be Tiger Woods' major competition at PGA Championship

22:20  15 may  2019
22:20  15 may  2019 Source:   latimes.com

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Brooks Koepka is accustomed to producing low numbers, but these aren’t the kind he prefers. When Tiger Woods finished his pre-tournament Tiger Woods chases more golf history in next week's 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, the same public course where the 15-time major


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Brooks Koepka is accustomed to producing low numbers, but these aren’t the kind he prefers.

When Tiger Woods finished his pre-tournament interview Tuesday at the PGA Championship, more than half the hundred or so reporters in the Bethpage Black media tent left with him.

Koepka, the tournament’s defending champion and a golfer on a scorching hot streak, inspired a smattering of people to stick around.

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Tiger Woods created roars, defending champion Justin Thomas challenged and Adam Scott pulled even. We were live all week as Brooks Koepka completed a double-dip at the 100th PGA Championship . With his win, Koepka is the first golfer since Jordan Spieth in 2015 to win two majors

Brooks Koepka will be Tiger Woods' major competition at PGA Championship© Getty Images Brooks Koepka The skies were dark over the golf course, but nothing compared to the shadow in which Koepka’s living. Woods is the main event, and Koepka’s the guy who wins a lot more than he smiles.

“I think I’m very stone-faced, very focused,” Koepka told the half-empty room at his news conference, the brim of his black cap pulled low and almost over his eyes.

“But I also don’t want to give you guys an idea of what’s going on. I’m not nervous at all. … I think a lot of times it’s more not to let anybody know what’s going on in my head, keep it kind of a mystery.”

Some of Koepka’s strengths are plain to see. Guy looks as if he could crush a Titleist with his bare hands.

Brooks Koepka will be Tiger Woods' major competition at PGA Championship© Getty Images BETHPAGE, NEW YORK - MAY 14: Brooks Koepka of the United States speaks with the media during a press conference prior to the 2019 PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black course on May 14, 2019 in Bethpage, New York. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Woods was asked if Koepka reminded him of a young Tiger. At 43, Woods is 14 years older.

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It was Brooks Koepka ’s PGA Championship . Koepka received a nice and heartfelt ovation when he tapped in for a par to clinch the third major championship of his life and That Koepka just won the PGA and U.S. Open in the same season, and the only other four men to do that are Tiger Woods

“Brooksy looks like a young me? No, I wish,” he quipped. “I was never that big. I was 130 pounds.

But we’re both able to generate (club-head) speed. I did it differently; I didn’t have muscle. I did it through whip and timing. Brooksy has just got pure power.”

In the last two major championships, Woods and Koepka finished first and second. That was Koepka first in last year’s PGA, and Woods two strokes behind in second … and Woods first at the Masters, and Koepka one shot back.

Brooks Koepka will be Tiger Woods' major competition at PGA Championship© Getty Images ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 08: Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods of the United States walk with Claude Harmon during a practice round prior to the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club on August 8, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) Koepka has won three of the last seven majors — including the last two U.S. Opens — and finished 13th or better in 11 of 13 majors. That’s eight top 10 finishes, seven top sixes, six top fives and four top fours, with three wins and a second.

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When Tiger Woods won the first of his 15 majors at the 1997 Masters, Brooks Koepka was barely out of kindergarten.

“We might be on the brink of the next great golf rivalry, the golf rivalry we’ve wanted forever,” CBS announcer Jim Nantz said of Koepka and Woods.

“They’ve got 1-2 in the last two major championships, and no one’s going to talk about (Koepka). In my mind, he’s the favorite coming into Bethpage just based on facts, what he’s done in these last 13 majors. It’s an awesome stretch for him.”

According to GolfOdds.com, Woods, Koepka, and Dustin Johnson are co-favorites to win at Bethpage, each at 10-to-1.

When Woods was making his stirring walk up the 18th fairway at the Masters last month, winning his 15th major but his first in 11 years, Koepka was signing his scorecard and filled with a sense of resignation.

“I just sat there and watched it,” he said. “I mean, I think it’s something any player, any fan, any golfer was probably glued to the TV at that moment watching it. It was pretty neat, pretty special for all of us.”

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Following Tiger Woods ' win at the Masters, he finds himself in this major champions grouping for the first time since 2008. He will join reigning PGA Championship and two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and reigning Open Champion Francesco Molinari.

Brooks Koepka withstood charges from Tiger Woods and Adam Scott, pulling away with late birdies for his third major title in two years. Brooks Koepka answered. And for the third time in his last six starts, Koepka is a major champion , outclassing the field with a final-round 66 and a two-shot win at

Well, maybe not that special for everyone.

“I was a little bit disappointed,” Koepka conceded. “I felt like I kind of let it slip a little bit. But at the same time, that’s what our sport needed. We needed him to win a major. It’s good for everybody. It’s good for the sponsors, good for the players, good for fans.”

Now, Koepka is ready to resume winning. There are 156 players in the PGA field. Already, he has whittled that down to a much smaller group in his mind.

Brooks Koepka will be Tiger Woods' major competition at PGA Championship© Getty Images BETHPAGE, NEW YORK - MAY 14: Tiger Woods (R) of the United States smiles with Pat Perez (L) of the United States on the practice green during a practice round prior to the 2019 PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black course on May 14, 2019 in Bethpage, New York. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) “You figure at least 80 of them I’m just going to beat,” he said.

“From there, the other (76), you figure about half of them won’t play well from there, so you’re down to about maybe 35. And then from 35, some of them just — pressure is going to get to them. It only leaves you with a few more, and you’ve just got to beat those guys.”

Sounds simple enough.

“I think one of the big things that I’ve learned over the last few years is you don’t need to try to go win it,” he said. “Just hang around. If you hang around, good things are going to happen.”

He has learned to linger in the shadows, and clearly it’s a comfortable place to be.

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Brooks Koepka will be Tiger Woods' major competition at PGA Championship
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Koepka round 'one of the best'.
Ewen Murray reflects on Brooks Koepka’s impressive start to the week at the PGA Championship and looks at why he excels in major tournaments. I've seen many great rounds in my time, but I honestly never imagined that a 63 was possible out there around Bethpage Black. To go around here without dropping a shot and making seven birdies along the way, was simply phenomenal golf. At the start of the day, I believed that if someone went out and shot 66 then they would end the day top of the leaderboard, but Koepka went and bettered that by three! The whole round, from start to finish, was just so impressive.

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