Woods teeters on edge of title in agonizing 2nd place at PGA

Joann Johnston
August 13, 2018

While Tiger Woods made noise with five birdies on the front nine to move rapidly up the tournament leader board, one of his biggest fans drew plenty of his own attention in the gallery.

Woods, a 14-time major and 4-time PGA champion shot his lowest final-round in a major ever with a six-under 64 that electrified crowds all day. Adam Scott finished a shot further back in solo third after firing a three-under 67.

Koepka, a 28-year-old from Florida, began the day at 12 under with a two shot lead over Scott.

At four under par Spieth ended the day eight off the lead and Rory McIlroy's hopes of ending his major drought also vanished after a 71 left him 10 behind.

"I feel like, if I do what I'm supposed to, I should win the golf tournament", Koepka said.

As for Woods? He felt the love, and he gave it right back to St. Louis.

That amount of attention could cause some to melt under the pressure, but for Woods he doesn't seem fazed by it at all. Woods was finally here and it is fair to suggest that, outside of the Ryder Cup, the Sunday roars have never been more vocally expressed.

But as the leaderboard became increasingly congested behind him, with 30 players within five shots of the lead midway through the round, Koepka proved his major quality as he bounced back with three consecutive birdies from the seventh which capped an outward 33.

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In fact, he arrived at the Bellerive Golf Course looking utterly cool, calm and collected. He did well to advance it, but had to save par from a bunker.

Woods and Koepka played nine holes of a practice round on Wednesday, and the 14-time major champion knew what he was up against.

"It's tough to beat when the guy hits it 340 down the middle", Woods said. He missed four months at the start of the year when a partially torn tendon in his left wrist, causing him to sit out the Masters. Those good sports-loving people of Missouri had waited for 17 years to watch this living, swinging legend.

But Woodland was comforted by the memory of the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, where he made a similar stumble before recovering to notch his third career PGA Tour win.

He now is No. 2 in the world, with a shot at overtaking Johnson in two weeks when the FedEx Cup playoffs start.

Four-time major victor Rory McIlroy, whose morning 67 was highlighted by a 58-foot chip-in at 14, had three bogeys against two birdies over the first 10 holes in round three. He shot 68 and tied for sixth. "I think everyone my age admired him growing up", Koepka said afterwards.

Woods said he had trouble judging the speed of the greens, especially on the back nine, and his three-putt on 17 was the result of an over-correction.

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