Editorial

Nine Numbers to Remember from the 2019 PGA Championship

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Connect Four Brooks Koepka, by winning at Bethpage Black, became the 10th player with exactly four career Major Championship victories. The other nine: Willie Anderson, Jim Barnes, Ernie Els, Raymond Floyd, Bobby Locke, Rory McIlroy, Tom Morris Jr., Tom Morris, Sr. and Willie Park Sr. 2 X 2 = 4 By winning the past two PGAs Brooks Koepka was the first player in golf history to be a two-time defending champion in two Major Championships at the same time. Wire to Wire Brooks Koepka became the first wire-to-wire (sole possession of first place) PGA Champion in 36 years. He joined Hal Sutton (1983), Raymond Floyd (1982), Jack Nicklaus (1971) and Bobby Nichols (1964) on the short list. World #1, again With that victory, Koepka was projected to return to the No. 1 ranking in the world. That marked the third time Koepka had been atop the Official World Golf Ranking. Koepka entered the week at No. 3 and jumped over PGA Championship runner-up Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose for the top spot. A .500 batting average is really good in baseball…and golf On June 18, 2017, Brooks Koepka won his first Major, the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Then in 2019 at Bethpage, he captured his fourth to join Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players in the modern era to win four or more Major Championships in a span of eight starts. Twice is Nice By hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy twice in as many years, Brooks Koepka was only the second player to win back-to-back PGAs since the advent of the PGA Championship's stroke-play era in 1958. Tiger Woods, on two separate occasions, won consecutive PGAs: 2006/Medinah & 2007/Southern Hills; and 1999/Medinah & 2000/Valhalla. Note: Five players won consecutive titles during the PGA's match-play era (1916-57): Denny Shute (1936 & '37), Leo Diegel (1928 & '29), Walter Hagen (1924, '25, '26 & '27), Gene Sarazen (1922 & '23) and James A. Barnes (1916 & '19. No Championships were played in 1917-18 due to WWI). Young man’s game Twenty-nine year-old Brooks Koepka became the fifth 20-something in the previous six years to win the PGA Championship. The lone exception in that span was Jimmy Walker, who was 37 upon winning at Baltusrol in 2016. A closer look: PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2019: Final Leaderboard | Highlights | Course Tour Year champions (Age upon PGA victory) 2019, Brooks Koepka (29) 2018, Brooks Koepka (28) 2017, Justin Thomas (24) 2016, Jimmy Walker (37) 2015, Jason Day (27) 2014, Rory McIlroy (25) The Roaring 20’s Brooks Koepka, with his 2019 victory, joined Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only American golfers to win four Majors before turning 30. Living under par at the PGA Championship According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the beginning of the stroke-play era in 1958, Brooks Koepka now owns the second-best lifetime score relative to par in the history of the PGA Championship: Tiger Woods (-46, 20 Championships) Brooks Koepka (-44, 7 Championships) Jason Day (-43, 10 Championships) Rory McIlroy (-40, 11 Championships)