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19th Hole

“Congratulations” to Brooks Koepka, and “thank you” to Tiger Woods

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In much the same way that Paul Casey’s breakthrough victory at the Valspar Championship earlier this year was, Brooks Koepka’s convincing triumph (and second major win this year) will be overshadowed by Tiger Woods’ bona fide contention in a major golf tournament.

Yes, Woods’ detractors will howl about Koepka not being given his due…about how the unflappable Floridan once again got the job done with a host of challengers bringing the heat amid the, well, sweltering St. Louis heat.

Koepka deserves all the credit in the world, and laurels ought to be heaped upon the bow-wristed-backswinging masher of the golf ball. However, the reality among most golf fans and 99 percent of general sports fans is that the faithful were hoping to see Woods’ first major victory in a decade. In his post round press conference, Koepka himself said, “Other than me, my team, everybody was rooting for Tiger… as they should.”

It doesn’t take anything away from Koepka’s win to acknowledge that the gravitational pull, of what was surely record viewership, was for a Woods’ victory. If anything, it’s another feather in Koepka’s Nike golf cap to (to mix metaphors) have paddled against that current successfully.

Starting the day four strokes ahead of Woods, it was always going to take a Koepka collapse at eminently gettable Bellerive. That didn’t happen, and from the seventh hole on BK was a veritable golfing colossus, pounding his drives down the fairway, hitting all but a handful of greens in regulation, and playing his final 12 holes in 5 under par.

On a day where the likes of Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler all faltered to one degree or another, Woods reversed his own 2018 trend of fading on the weekend with an inspired 6-under 64. Fans are right to be excited.

Inspired, the final round was, in vintage Woodsian ways: the man didn’t hit a fairway on the front nine and managed to go out in 3-under. Sure, he was the beneficiary of the favor of the golf gods and the trampled grass of the swelling galleries, but artistry like this towering hook at the ninth was a joy to watch.

Then, of course, for all the difficulty Woods had off the tee (both with driver and irons), he was masterful in carving approach shots toward Kerry Haigh’s attempted tucked pins. Consider this shot at the 15th.

Tiger Woods firing a 64 in a major on Sunday in the year 2018…at 42…after spinal fusion and wandering out of a personal abyss…was impressive. Indeed, today was a day most (even Tiger himself) doubted would ever come. Better writers than I can debate how many rungs below Ben Hogan’s comeback this is on the ladder of achievement.

More than its impressiveness, however, Woods’ Sunday charge at Bellerive was just plain fun to watch, wasn’t it? He stirred the echoes of the Tiger Woods of the early 2000 and mid 2000s. He showed that, should his back continue to hold up, he will contend in majors for, what, at least the next five years?

And if you like that sort of thing, you know, seeing one of the greatest of all time at the top of his game, you have to say, “Thank you, Tiger,” for taking the long, difficult, and often dark road back to serious contention in a major championship.

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47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. jeffrey monnich

    Aug 14, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    okay, woods and mickelson their best ball against koepka and spot koepka 4 shots who wins

    • Bill

      Aug 15, 2018 at 11:38 am

      First of all;
      Tiger DID NOT play his best golf AT ALL, EVEN on the last round!!!

      He missed a lot of Fairways,if he would have hit fairways, it was VERY possible 5 shot swing!! Thats right, a 59 or 60!! Go look at his stats, just on the last round! What he did that was remarkable was make a great score out of a VERY probable 70!!

  2. Dave r

    Aug 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    I don’t get it . It’s all about Tiger he did not win great golfer yes great human being no . This man for some reason has every sports writer every announcer every wantabe and so on so far up his %%%%## all you can see is their boots. I had to turn off the tv it was sickening to watch him glot and fist pump and step on his lip as he left the green after making a putt. Does everybody remember not a fairway hit on the front . He could always put I’ll give him that much but he’s not changed one bit still the phoney sour guy he’s always been.

    • Commoner

      Aug 14, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      Dave r and Richard have it so right. Sycophants galore!

      • Romes

        Aug 15, 2018 at 1:09 pm

        You’re all douche bags. Trump supporters I imagine.

  3. Richard

    Aug 13, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    I do not understand the adulation TW gets. Even prior to his marital indiscretions and despite his charitable foundation (which most top level pros have anyway so it doesn’t make him special), he is a pig of a man. I could never support someone who has no human decency just because they can hit a golf ball well. What a shame so many people think the future of golf is tied to him. Golf is so much more and so much better than TW. But I guess most of you (and him) think it’s the other way around. What a shame.

  4. O sh t

    Aug 13, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Tell him to grow some hair

  5. Ray Bennett

    Aug 13, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Tiger was never going to beat Brooks, nor any of the others in the field. Golf is a game of Confidence. Brooks has it in spades. It must be a great feeling having unshakeable confidence in your abilities to win. Tiger had it once but lost it. Can’t see Brookes losing it any time soon.

  6. TONEY P

    Aug 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Best PGA I have seen in a while. Brooks game was awesome to watch and adding in ???? Tiger on Sunday was. A win for everyone.

  7. Tom54

    Aug 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    I would like to know what happened to Tigers ball on #9. Before commercial break they were saying ball was on cart path and nearest relief was going to be in the trees and pretty much said he might play it off the path. When break was over you see him with relief taken to the right of the path with a clear swing. Someone kick it? That was never explained. He was extremely lucky on the front nine every time he was in the trees he had a shot I guess that’s the advantage of having hundreds in the gallery preventing the ball going any deeper than where they are gathered

    • Brian

      Aug 15, 2018 at 7:07 am

      He was never on the path. It was on the trampled down area to the right of it. The commentators got it wrong.

  8. Charlie Waffles

    Aug 13, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Congrats to Brooks for the win! Some posting here say that IF Tiger had do this or than he would have won. I’m guessing you could say that about everyone in the field. You hear the IF word a lot in golf especially if you don’t win.

  9. ~j~

    Aug 13, 2018 at 10:36 am

    So many Monday morning haters…

    A.) Anyone still calling tiger ‘washed up’, a ‘has been’ and clammoring that he’ll never win again is pretty much an ignornat fool. You keep telling yourself that. While coming in ONLY 2nd, again, in a mojor this year, yesterday was a big win for Woods based on his progressions through all 4 majors. Anyone NOT looking forward to seeing how he’ll take this years experiences into next years Masters is kidding themselves. Hater or not, you’ll be watching.

    B.) IMO it’s NOBODIES fault Brooks is getting overlooked right now than Brooks himself. Great golfer, yes. Fun to watch, not at all. If he had HALF the emotion Tiger or Rory has he’d be the storyline by himself. Hell, if he had half the personaliuty of DJ even, he’d be better off. Hell, he didn’t crack a smile until Jena got there moments after the awkward as hell tap-in par before Scott could even close out. He honestly (and in my opinion) looks like he’s bored as hell out there playing all day. Like at any moment he’d rather walk off the course to do about anything else. The ‘Human Bulldozer’ needs to go watch the movie Gladiator a few times. Win the crowd, win the headlines.

    c.) Tiger’s 130-strokes over Sat/Sun was the lowest 2-day total ever at the PGAC. he won the crowd ands the coverage. ‘nough said.

  10. Mat

    Aug 13, 2018 at 12:42 am

    Congratulations in quotation marks is shameful. I love TW’s affect on the game, but that’s just sharting all over a 3-time major winner.

    • Tal

      Aug 13, 2018 at 3:44 am

      What? That’s grammar, not disrespect…

    • Thomas A

      Aug 13, 2018 at 10:30 am

      Yeah, the “thank you” is in quotes too. So unbind your panties there Mat.

  11. Tom

    Aug 13, 2018 at 12:22 am

    Zero fairways hit on the front nine?…thought ‘twist face’ was supposed to correct that.

    • Simms

      Aug 13, 2018 at 1:06 am

      Simple fix Tiger, put the same shaft (yes metal) in your driver, shorten it an inch or more and hit fairways…290 to 310 is all Tiger needs in the fairway to become a winner again…Everyone sees how good Tiger is again with his irons but when he picks up the lighter driver his swing gets out of sink….heaver shaft is the answer for him…

      • Cru

        Aug 13, 2018 at 1:17 am

        But he doesn’t want to be average, he wants to crush it. And I hope he carries on crushing it! left and right, that is! And I’m a happy guy!

    • ~j~

      Aug 13, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Missed FW with irons of the tee too.

    • jc

      Aug 13, 2018 at 11:18 am

      maybe tiger put a ‘reverse’ twist in his downswing load of the angle of descent causing premature outloading of the core of his swing. either than or he didn’t fire his glutes

  12. 2putttom

    Aug 13, 2018 at 12:03 am

    just a few more FIR’s and this would be a totally different article.

    • Josh

      Aug 13, 2018 at 12:22 am

      Putts. Birdie putt on 1 should have been holed, IMO and the one on 10 that stopped JUST ON the LIP and didn’t budge. Those go in it’s a 3 hole playoff, one I desperately wanted to see just for the spectacle, but golf is golf and it’s rarely a movie script ending.

  13. Liberty Apples

    Aug 12, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Woods’ performance – and so-called comeback- though impressive, are not even in the same league as Hogan’s post-accident brilliance. Not even close.

    • Josh

      Aug 13, 2018 at 12:24 am

      The book on Tiger isn’t fully written yet, and you could argue that Hogan suffered from a freak accident, whereas Tiger’s injuries were sustained over time and possibly somewhat self-inflicted for lack of a better term. So apples to oranges? Either way, let’s just watch this unfold. It’s entertaining, as I’m sure Hogan fans were entertained by his comeback.

      • Dave r

        Aug 14, 2018 at 12:42 pm

        Ya a wedge to the chops didn’t help the guy either. Hogans fans are turning over as we speak.

    • Simms

      Aug 13, 2018 at 1:10 am

      Give us a break Hogan played against 10 to 15 top quality players at the most…Tiger is going up against 40 to 50 top quality players every tournament….You cannot compare Hogan to Tiger in any sentence other then to say they both put in a lot of time working on their games…..

  14. KJ

    Aug 12, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    Really….Brooks wins a great championship and all GolfWRX 19th Hole can do is show a picture of Woods. PATHETIC!!!

    • Josh

      Aug 13, 2018 at 12:25 am

      That is pretty lame. My editorial opinion you could do a half and half split screen pic if you really wanna get Tiger in there for the clicks.

    • SS

      Aug 13, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Tiger was the reason people tuned into the PGA Championship, just like Tiger was the reason people clicked on the article. Relax and try to think a bit.

  15. CG

    Aug 12, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Three majors! Koepka is under 30. He’ll be a Hall of Famer if he starts winning regular events too! Who’s Tiger?

    • Caroline

      Aug 13, 2018 at 1:13 am

      Tiger is the best player to ever take 14 clubs out on the golf course…that is who Tiger Woods is…

      • Golfho

        Aug 13, 2018 at 3:39 am

        Put your blunt down. Tigger is a distant second to Jack.

        • Ev

          Aug 13, 2018 at 11:32 pm

          Distant second? Hahaha. Not even Jack thinks that.

  16. Go

    Aug 12, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    What the heck you on about?
    Overshadowed? That’s the other way around, my man.
    Eldrick’s time is over. He just passed the baton to the new athletes in the game. It’s a generational shift. Brooks just eclipsed everybody this year and showed how it needs to be done at a major.
    You should be glad that is the case, that there is new blood who can keep the game interesting and maintain a high level the likes of Eldrick and Jack were able to establish.
    We have a new era.
    And I’m glad for it.
    Well done Brooks.
    Good bye Eldrick

    • Rich24

      Aug 12, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      You are on drugs if you think Tiger is done. He may not catch Jack but if think that any baton was passed today you are an idiot. He beat every young player out there minus one.

    • O sh t

      Aug 12, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      Yup.
      All the hopeful names like Rickie who should’ve won a couple, haven’t.
      At least JT has. At least DJ has come to his own.
      And then Brooks comes out of nowhere, he even had to sit out a few months and rest at the beginning of this year, with the wrist injury, and still comes back and wins 2 majors.

    • Ev

      Aug 13, 2018 at 12:08 am

      We’ll have to wait and see about Brooks maintaining a high level.
      Rory, Jordan, Dustin, Justin. They are all capable but we’ll have to wait and see.
      I think Brooks game peaked at the right time. He definately doesn’t go out week after week and perform at this level.
      And I wouldn’t call today’s events a passing of the torch. Far from it.

      • Matty

        Aug 13, 2018 at 8:31 am

        They may be a few guys like Jordan/JT/Rory/DJ/Day now its Brooks turn, but none can sustain it for more than a year or 2. DJ can win in Canada when everyone takes off but chokes most of the time in difficult fields I love Jordan but we all see how he handled the pressure of being expected to win at a Tiger level. I can not pick one of these guys that has enough to sustain wins for years like Tiger. JT is the closest to it, and if he keeps swinging like he rips that driver he is going to end up like Tiger with multiple knee surgeries. There was no baton passing here, but man I love seeing all these Tiger haters all over GolfWRX. Tiger is going to go down as the greatest ever, even if you petition for him not to, no one moves the needle like Tiger Baby

      • Go

        Aug 13, 2018 at 10:56 am

        One can hope, can’t one……? I just want to see the back of Eldrick, man. It’s time.

    • ~j~

      Aug 13, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Poor little hater. By all means jump on Brook’s bandwagon, he has a couple fans on there you can chat with. He’ll never be a fan-favorite by any stretch but a powerful golfer.

      You’d have to be a fool to still think Tiger is heading OUT of golf though, i.e. ‘washed up’, ‘has been’, ‘too old’, etc. He’s done nothing but resurrect his status as a legitimate contender week-in and week-out and ought to be a clear favorite for winning any of next year’s majors based on this years level of play (which continues only to get better).

      If Brooks could putt yesterday he coulda won by 5-6 strokes. But If Tiger could’ve find a FW off the tee yesterday, he coulda been walking off with his 15th major also just as well, even IF Brooks had made his close putts.

      • O sh t

        Aug 14, 2018 at 2:04 am

        But that’s the difference, don’t you see? Eldrick can’t put a whole game together any more. And without Brooks having to putt that well, he still did putt well enough and scored enough. It’s not like Brooks shot 75. He shot 66. He did what he had to. Eldrick can do all he wants, he’ll just come close, but he ain’t gonna beat the guy he wished he could have been, a powerful, ripped, good looking White dude.

  17. Tommy

    Aug 12, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Wow Ben, wrote that one in a hurry, huh? Maybe turn on punctuation-correct or something next time Tiger does this. You even left out a few words. All’s forgiven though…we all get the urgency of being the first golf writer to comment on this near historic day in golf history. It was a really memorable day with a forgettable victory, sadly. Not that Brooks isn’t a fan favorite, but Brooks isn’t a fan favorite. Beside the fact that winning $2MM doesn’t even rate much of a grin from him, he totally relatable (not).

    • Ryan Michael

      Aug 12, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks for grading the article. You would make a great English instructor ?????????.

      • O sh t

        Aug 12, 2018 at 10:06 pm

        Not

      • Ev

        Aug 14, 2018 at 5:40 pm

        Powerful and ripped? Good looking? I sure hope you’re not a man.

        Also I’m certain Tiger is proud of his heritage.

        Why bring up Brooks race and by the way. Tiger is Brooks idol. So I’m sure Brooks wouldn’t agree with any of your comments.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (8.16.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

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Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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Just a few of days after vowing to step up his attempts to improve his pace of play, a video has surfaced from this Wednesday’s Pro-Am at Medinah of DeChambeau defending his pace at last week’s event and attacking his critics.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (8.15.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Tiger’s one-handed putting drill in action at Medinah.

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Sweet looking Trigonometric copper blade from GEOM Putters.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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