U.S. PGA Championship

A dozen stats that tell the story of Sunday at Bethpage

Warren Little
Brooks Koepka walks onto the first tee past The Wanamaker Trophy during the final round of the 2019 PGA Championship.

By Mike O’Malley
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — All those stats about Brooks Koepka breaking scoring records on the way to another major-championship victory after opening with rounds of 63-65? Already in the trash bin. But he’ll take the stat that counts—major win No. 4—even though he put his antiperspirant through a punishing workout with four consecutive bogeys before finishing a final-round 74 for a two-stroke win over Dustin Johnson. Deep breaths, everyone. On to the stats:

1: Number of times Koepka has competed in a tour event at Pebble Beach, site of next month’s U.S. Open. He finished T-8 in the Pro-Am in 2016, shooting rounds of 68-70-69-70—277, seven strokes behind winner Vaughn Taylor. Koepka will be going for his fifth major win in his last nine appearances. Which is pretty good.

1: How many times do you make a 2 and aren’t even Low Lucas in your group? Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open winner at Bethpage, holed his bunker shot at the 17th, but only after Lucas Bjerregaard aced it with a 6-iron from 206 yards.

2: Dustin Johnson (final-round 69 on Sunday) now has achieved the Runner-Up Grand Slam:
2: 2019 PGA Ch., Bethpage (winner: Brooks Koepka)
T-2: 2011 Open Ch., Royal St. George’s (winner: Darren Clarke)
T-2: 2015 U.S. Open, Chambers Bay (winner: Jordan Spieth)
T-2: 2019 Masters (winner: Tiger Woods)

T-3: Finish at Bethpage by Jordan Spieth, who was attempting to complete the career Grand Slam but was six shots shy of Koepka after a final-round 71. It was still Spieth’s best performance of the 2018-’19 tour season.

4: With his four major win, Koepka ties Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Raymond Floyd, Bobby Locke, Jim Barnes, Willie Anderson, Willie Park Sr., Tom Morris Sr. and Tom Morris Jr. A fifth major win would tie Koepka with Phil Mickelson, Seve Ballesteros, Peter Thomson, Byron Nelson, J.H. Taylor and James Braid. Six major wins? He’d be shaking hands with Lee Trevino and Nick Faldo.

5: Swing in shots in three holes after Koepka bogeyed the first hole and Harold Varner birdied it to get within five strokes of the lead. After double bogeys by Varner at the third and fourth, and a birdie by Koepka at No. 4, Varner trailed by 10. Varner went on to shoot an 81 and finish T-36.

7: Koepka is really glad this record wasn’t matched on Sunday: In the 1978 PGA at Oakmont, John Mahaffey trailed Tom Watson by seven shots going into the final round, and Mahaffey shot a 66 before winning a playoff against Watson and Jerry Pate for the biggest final-round comeback in the championship’s history.

T-60: Low finish from a PGA club professional, by Rob Labritz after rounds of 75-69-74-72—290. Two other club pros made the cut: Ryan Vermeer was T-80 after rounds of 70-74-72-79—295, and Marty Jertson was 82nd after a finish of 72-69-79-79—299. It’s the second time Labritz has been low club professional at the PGA Championship, having first accomplished the feat in 2010.

12: Venues scheduled to host future PGA Championships:

2020: Harding Park
2021: Kiawah Island
2022: Trump National/Bedminster
2023: Oak Hill
2024: Valhalla
2025: To be announced
2026: Aronimink
2027: PGA Frisco
2028: Olympic Club
2029: Baltusrol
2030: To be announced
2031: Congressional
2032: To be announced
2033: To be announced
2034: PGA Frisco
Year to be determined: Southern Hills

76: Highest final-round score by a PGA winner. The highest score and others on the list:
76 (4 over), Vijay Singh, 2004, Whistling Straits
74 (4 over), Brooks Koepka, 2019, Bethpage
74 (3 over), Raymond Floyd, 1969, NCR C.C.
73 (3 over), Dave Stockton, 1970, Southern Hills
73 (1 over), Jack Nicklaus, 1971, PGA National

88: Rounds under par for the week at Bethpage (par 70). The most under-par scores in PGA Championship history: 214 (Bellerive, 2018, par 70); 194 (Riviera, 1995, par 71); 185 (Whistling Straits, 2015, par 72); 178 (Valhalla, 2014, par 71); 172 (Valhalla, 2000, par 72). The least number of under-par scores for 72 holes in a PGA: 13 (Firestone, 1960, par 70).

$1.98 million: First prize on Sunday, which is more than the entire field played for ($1.7 million) 25 years ago at Southern Hills. The winner in 1994, Nick Price, earned $310,000. Eighth place this year at Bethpage paid $319,600 from a total purse of $11 million. Being a very good professional golfer has its rewards.

 

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