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Koepka recovers from wobble to defend US PGA Championship

Koepka recovers from wobble to defend US PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka held a seven-shot lead going into the final round, which was reduced to one shot with four holes left

Brooks Koepka held off the threat of Dustin Johnson to defend his US PGA Championship and win a fourth major on a dramatic day at Bethpage Black.

The 2017 and 2018 US Open champion had a seven-shot lead at the start of the final round, which dropped to one after four successive bogeys from the 11th.

But world number one Johnson capitulated on the final three holes as Koepka won by two shots on eight under.

England’s Matt Wallace tied for third, earning his best finish at a major.

The 29-year-old carded a two-over 72 to finish on two under, alongside Americans Jordan Spieth (71) and Patrick Cantley (71).

The top six were the only golfers to finish the tournament under par at a brutal Long Island course which was made even harder on the final day as the wind increased.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Ireland’s Shane Lowry were among those to finish tied eighth on one over after both ended with 69s.

Final round comes to life at Bethpage

After an almost processional opening three rounds at the Long Island course in New York state where Koepka dominated, the tournament came to life during the final round as the wind stiffened and Johnson, playing a couple of groups ahead, finally applied pressure.

Koepka’s stern demeanour looked unshakeable as he set the lowest 36-hole score in majors to take a seven-shot lead, a margin which remained after the third round when he shot a level-par 70 because his rivals were unable to mount a serious challenge.

But on Sunday’s back nine his driving was erratic and his approach play and putting withered.

Johnson, who holed three birdies on the front nine, closed within one with another birdie on the 15th. However, the 2016 US Open champion then handed the advantage back to Koepka with bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes and he has now finished runner-up at each of golf’s four majors.

It was a nervy finish for Koepka, who also bogeyed the 17th to hold a two-shot lead with one to play.

He then hit his tee shot into a fairway bunker down the last.

However, a good recovery to the middle of the fairway and a chip on to the green helped him finish with a par to win the Wanamaker Trophy and a winners’ cheque of £1.56m.

Koepka, who led from start to finish, has now won four majors in his previous eight starts – only legends Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods can match or better that record.

More to follow.

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