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Sam Torrance: Beating Tiger enhanced Koepka’s PGA win

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Winning the US Open for a second year in a row just a few weeks ago was a phenomenal achievement, but Brooks Koepka has gone one better by claiming the US PGA Championship on Sunday.

To put that into context, Koepka has won three of the last six Majors – and a wrist injury meant he didnt even play this years Masters, a tournament which would have suited him. Its extraordinary.

That the unassuming American has largely flown under the radar is remarkable too. Perhaps its because hes still only 28 and has won just one regular PGA Tour event outside the Majors.

Read more: Colin Montgomerie interview: "Competitiveness motivates me more than golf"

Tiger Woods, chasing a 15th Major title 10 years after his last, threw everything at his fellow American down the stretch at Bellerive Country Club but Koepka stood firm.

Woods moved to within one of the lead after an incredible approach to the par-four 15th set up a birdie. He then hit a fantastic tee shot at the par-three 16th, but couldnt quite make another birdie.

But Koepka matched Tigers birdie at 15 and then, having hit his tee shot at 16 to within six feet, sank another. That extended his advantage again and effectively decided the contest.

Koepka was so composed under pressure. You can see that he relishes the big occasions. He won the US Open so well in June and that success can only have bred more confidence.

Like Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland, he has got that stride that shows he is very comfortable with himself. Also like his gym buddy Johnson, he has great power. He looks like a champion boxer.

Tigers charge attracted a lot of attention from the crowd and coverage from the media, but I dont think that overshadowed Koepkas win. For me, the fact that he saw off Woods only enhanced his victory.

Woods's iron play is looking as good as it did at his peak (Source: Getty)

But Tigers back all right. First there was his showing at The Open, where he briefly held the lead last month, and now this. His re-emergence as a challenger has made these Majors even more exciting.

Its magnificent for golf. The game didnt need a lift – weve had some fantastic champions lately – but seeing Woods crown his comeback with another Major would only boost the sport.

His driving is still awry – he didnt hit a fairway on the front nine on Sunday, yet was still four under for his round at the turn – but then even at his peak that was never his greatest asset.

Bernard Gallacher said you rarely find people who are both great drivers and great iron players, because they are essentially different swings.

Tiger is without doubt an incredible iron player and that side of his game is looking as good as it has ever been.

Ive thought for a while that he would win a Major again and fancied him to go close at The Open.

Hes still only 42. I had my best season at 43 and if a player like me was able to do that then think what someone like Tiger can still achieve. Physically and mentally he is very capable.

Europe's Ryder Cup hopefuls

Following Francesco Molinaris triumph at The Open, Koepkas US PGA win represents a lift for American Ryder Cup hopes and a bit of a knock for Europes.

There were some encouraging performances at Bellerive from players from this side of the pond, however.

It was nice to see Ryder Cup hopefuls Thomas Pieters (T6) and Rafa Cabrera Bello (T10) make the top 10, while Jon Rahm (T4) and Tyrrell Hatton (T10) – two players likely to qualify for Thomas Bjorns team – also had good finishes.

Ian Poulters 31st place was enough to move him into the last automatic European place with three qualifying events remaining.

That may give Bjorn even more of a headache, as Poulters Ryder Cup pedigree would make him be an easier choice for one of his four captains picks than some of the other contenders.

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Sports

Sam Torrance: Beating Tiger enhanced Koepka’s PGA win

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Winning the US Open for a second year in a row just a few weeks ago was a phenomenal achievement, but Brooks Koepka has gone one better by claiming the US PGA Championship on Sunday.

To put that into context, Koepka has won three of the last six Majors – and a wrist injury meant he didnt even play this years Masters, a tournament which would have suited him. Its extraordinary.

That the unassuming American has largely flown under the radar is remarkable too. Perhaps its because hes still only 28 and has won just one regular PGA Tour event outside the Majors.

Read more: Colin Montgomerie interview: "Competitiveness motivates me more than golf"

Tiger Woods, chasing a 15th Major title 10 years after his last, threw everything at his fellow American down the stretch at Bellerive Country Club but Koepka stood firm.

Woods moved to within one of the lead after an incredible approach to the par-four 15th set up a birdie. He then hit a fantastic tee shot at the par-three 16th, but couldnt quite make another birdie.

But Koepka matched Tigers birdie at 15 and then, having hit his tee shot at 16 to within six feet, sank another. That extended his advantage again and effectively decided the contest.

Koepka was so composed under pressure. You can see that he relishes the big occasions. He won the US Open so well in June and that success can only have bred more confidence.

Like Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland, he has got that stride that shows he is very comfortable with himself. Also like his gym buddy Johnson, he has great power. He looks like a champion boxer.Read More »

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