The Tiger Woods fairytale will have to wait a while longer for a happy ending, after Brooks Koepka confirmed he is the new dominant force in the Majors.
Koepka, 28, broke the hearts of Woods and his legion of fans by powering to a two-shot victory at the 100th USPGA Championship – his third victory in his last six Majors.
Getty Images – Getty Tiger Woods fell just short of winning the US PGA Championship
EPA Tiger Woods thrilled the crowds at Bellerive on Sunday
That is a strike rate unheard of since Woods was in his pomp. But there can be no doubt that the 42 year old warrior is back as a Major force, after a second pulsating performance in a row.
Koepka deservedly took the title after an enthralling battle with Woods and playing partner Adam Scott. But it was Tiger who generated most of the electricity and excitement on a thrill-a-minute final day at Bellerive.
He also occupied centre stage for much of the final day of The Open, where he took the outright lead briefly in the final round before finishing sixth.
His runner-up finish here is further proof that after four back operations and a ten year drought in the Majors, it is becoming a question of when Woods will win again, not if.
1. Brooks Koepka -16 2. Tiger Woods -14 3. Adam Scott -13 T4. Stewart Cink -11 T4. Jon Rahm -11
AP:Associated Press Tiger Woods electrified the air in St Louis as he made his move on the final day of the US PGA Championship
Instagram Tiger Woods arrived at Bellerive oozing cool and confidence
The enormous crowd in St Louis – estimated at more than 100,000 – and millions watching everywhere apart from the TV-starved UK will still be wondering how the old maestro managed to play the front nine in three under par yesterday.
Woods did not hit a single fairway in the first nine holes and flirted with disaster on the second, where his ball stopped on a bank when it looked certain to end in the water.
He made an unlikely birdie from there and followed up by almost holing his tee shot at the short third. And he brushed off a bogey at the par three sixth with two more birdies to close to within two shots of the lead – after starting four behind Koepka.
The worry was that Woods had played the front nine in 13 under for the week – and the back nine in two over. And when he finally started hitting fairways, it threw an extra element of uncertainty into the mix.
But he almost picked up an extra shot in dramatic style. His thirty footer teetered on the edge of the hole at the eleventh – but it refused to tumble, unlike his famous chip at the 2005 Masters, when the Nike ‘Swoosh; was on full display before it dropped.
Twitter Viewers predicted Tiger Woods storming to victory after seeing how he looked when he arrived at Bellerive
Getty Images Fans expected big things of Tiger Woods
Getty Images Tiger Woods feel just short in his quest for a 15th Major title