Brooks Koepka has regained the World No 1 spot by winning his fourth career Major title at the PGA Championship, supplanting fellow American Dustin Johnson who finished second at Bethpage Black.
Koepka, who topped the Official World Golf Ranking for a few weeks after winning the CJ Nine Bridges Cup last October, has now won four times in his last eight Major starts. He will defend the US Open title at Pebble Beach next month as hot favourite, having won the last two editions of his national Open.
The 29-year-old Floridian described his run in the Majors as “phenomenal”.
“I think that’s a good word. Yeah, it’s been a hell of a run. It’s been fun. I’m trying not to let it stop. It’s super enjoyable and just try to ride that momentum going into Pebble. Four of eight, I like the way that sounds,” said Koepka, who began his professional career in Europe in 2012.
Taking a seven-shot lead into the final round, Koepka had to stave off nerves and a fiercely pro-Johnson crowd to eke out a two-shot win after a closing 74.
“Today was definitely the most satisfying out of all of them [his Major wins] for how stressful that round was, how stressful DJ made that. I know for a fact, that was the most excited I’ve ever been in my life ever there on 18,” noted Koepka, adding that hearing the crowd cheer for Johnson actually helped him refocus after making four bogeys in a row from Hole 11.
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, joint second heading into the last day, fell back to a T14 finish on two-over-par after a closing 77.
Official World Golf Ranking (as at May 19, 2019)
1. Brooks Koepka – 11.0020 (average points)
2. Dustin Johnson – 10.9256
3. Justin Rose – 8.7522
4. Rory McIlroy – 8.1211
5. Justin Thomas – 7.4196
6. Tiger Woods – 7.3938
7. Francesco Molinari – 6.9777
8. Bryson DeChambeau – 6.7054
9. Xander Schauffele – 6.1651
10. Rickie Fowler – 5.6726