Tiger pandemonium rocks PGA

 news.com.au  8/12/2018 10:38:22 PM  2

TIGER Woods created a “rock concert” at the PGA Championship, roaring into contention on the final day at Bellerive Country Club — but American Brooks Koepka crashed the party to deny a modern sporting fairytale.

Koepka won his third major in the past 18 months with a clutch back nine in the face of red-hot charges by Woods and Aussie Adam Scott.

Koepka claimed the Wanamaker Trophy with a final round 66 (four under), finishing two strokes ahead of Woods and three ahead of Scott.

The Aussie bogeyed the 18th after a wayward tee shot to drop to outright third.

The ice in Koepka’s veins may have won him the 2018 PGA Championship, but Woods won the crowd and the headlines.

It was classic Tiger — and it brought Bellerive to life.

Woods, 42, charged into outright second with back-to-back birdies on the back nine to cut Koepka’s lead to one stroke.

Then Scott made his dramatic charge, surging into joint leader with Koepka at 14 under with five holes to play.

Woods’ 15th hole birdie created “complete pandemonium” as he again closed to within one stroke of the lead walking onto the 16th.

Tiger Woods hits his second shot from the rough on the 17th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Tiger Woods hits his second shot from the rough on the 17th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)Source:AP

But Koepka responded to Scott and Woods’ surging threat, rolling in a birdie on the 15th to re-take a one-stroke lead ahead of Scott and a two-stroke buffer from Woods.

The air was taken out of Scott’s and Woods’ charges when Koepka made it back-to-back birdies on the 16th — moving two clear of Scott (and three clear of Woods) with two holes to play.

Woods’ major threat was officially dead after he found the shrubs off the tee on the 17th. He recovered for par, but was left three back from Koepka with one hole to play.

The 14-time major winner finished his round with a birdie — walking into the clubhouse at 14 under with a final round 64 (six under).

He said after his round that he believed a year ago that he might not have ever been capable of producing the type of golf that he produced at the 2018 PGA Championship.

“I’ve been in contention in the last two major championships and I didn’t think that was possible a year ago, so I’m incredibly thankful for that,” he said.

“These fans were so positive all week, I can’t thank them enough. What they were saying, it means a lot to me.”

Scott had earlier made a scintillating run of five under through seven holes early on the back nine, but Koepka’s cool composure with the championship on the line left him within reach of his third major as they walked onto the 17th.

It was a three-way fight for the PGA Championship with American Stewart Cink the clubhouse leader at 11 under, tied for fourth — three strokes behind Woods.

Woods’ dramatic rollercoaster round brought the St Louis course to life with a stunning stretch of four birdies in six holes from the par five eighth.

Despite failing to find the fairway off the tee for the entire front nine, Woods made the turn having carded three under for the day with an incredible short game and a putting masterclass.

Chasing his first major in more than 10 years, Woods changed his shirt after the front nine and immediately found the fairway with his next three strokes off the tee.

The four-time PGA Championship winner needed only 10 putts in an extraordinary display of scrambling. Woods made the turn at 11 under for the championship, two shots behind third-round leader Koepka.

Woods then had his momentum interrupted on the par four 12th when Gary Woodland’s approach shot hit the hole on the fly and bounced away, leaving a dent in the side of the cup.

Woods was staring down another birdie putt that would get him to 12 under, two shots back of leader Koepka. But he had to wait while the grounds crew came out to fix the hole.

When he landed the awkward mid-range putt, the crowd erupted.

The emotion-charged crowd was earlier denied a chance to cheer Woods on when his putt on the

The shattered reaction from the crowd showed exactly what Woods’ storming return to golf means for the sport.

Woods’ missed birdie on the 11th hole by the smallest of margins when he left his putt half a rotation short — it caused physical pain for some of his fans.

Luckily he also gave them plenty to cheer about earlier in the round.

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