Trying to be the first player in more than 60 years to win the same major three years in a row, and to do so at the PGA Championship after 1920, Koepka won just two shots at the start of the final round. But when low scores were abundant and many players rolled into the birdie while jockeying for the position, the defending champion twice fell vacant.
Koepka dropped a shot at No. 2, went out at 39 and did not make a birdie until the 12th hole. It went up to a disastrous, 4-over 74, a score that defeated only one player (Jim Harman) in the final round and one that dropped Koepka into a tie for 29th place.
“Kopka said,” It was disappointing to take a turn in 4 overs, to say the least. “You knew you had to be under at least one, there’s a good chance backwards. I mean, this is my first bad round in a prime time.”
Koepka spoke confidently after the third round, and he had a record to back it up. After winning four big wins from 2017, he entered the final round as one of the favorites, where only 54-hole leader Dustin Johnson of the other players in the top 20 had previously won a major. But that lineage did not help him on a foggy day at TPC Harding Park, where he finished 10 shots behind eventual winner Colin Morikawa.
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This is just the second time in his final 18 major matches that Koepka has finished outside the top 25, and will be the first day on Monday as he won at Erin Hills on 18 June 2017, that he will not wake up as a reigning champion One of the four heads of golf.
“Hey, didn’t mean that,” Koepka said. “Three in a row, you don’t really have to do two in a row looking at history. But that’s all right. Get two more (in large amounts) in the rest of the season and we’ll figure it out from there.”