Brooks Koepka after winning the 2018 PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods’ attempted comeback at the PGA Championship drew much of the talk Sunday, but it was Brooks Koepka who came away with the trophy. After shooting 69, 63 and 66 on the par-70 course at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis over the first three days for a -12 score that put him in the lead heading into Sunday, Koepka recorded an impressive final round, shooting another 66 to finish 16 under for the tournament, two clear of Woods and three clear of Adam Scott, and pick up his third major title. His 264 was the lowest score ever recorded in a PGA Championship, beating the 15-under 265 David Toms recorded in 2001. And this combined with his June U.S. Open win to put him in some illustrious company:

Woods didn’t make that easy for Koepka, though. In fact, Woods turned in one of his best performances in a major in a long while Sunday, entering the day four strokes back of the lead but shooting a six-under 64, his best round of the tournament. And he was in contention to win for much of the day, especially after Koepka made back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes. And despite some driving struggles, Woods recorded four birdies and just one bogey on the front nine. But Koepka got hot at the right time to hold off the charge, notching back-to-back-to-back birdies on holes seven through nine, then holding steady with pars down the stretch and adding further birdies on holes 15 and 16. And when Woods’ par putt lipped out on the 14th hole, that really paved the way for Koepka to shoot ahead.

So that’s a great showing from Koepka, and more proof he’s someone to contend with. The 28-year-old Koepka was fourth in the official World Golf Ranking heading into this, and while he only has four career PGA Tour wins to date, three of them are majors (the 2017 U.S. Open, this year’s U.S. Open, and now the PGA Championship). But this was also notable for being the best Woods has looked in a major in a long while, standing out even above his run at the British Open last month (where he shot a final-round 71 and finished tied for sixth). And the 196 he combined to record over the last three rounds was his best career score over 54 holes of a major, by a margin of four shots. So with just a marginally better start than his opening 69, Woods very well could have won this. (And so could have Scott, who shot a final-round 67 to finish third with a 267, and could have tied Woods for second if his final putt had dropped.)

But Koepka played very well himself, and provided further evidence he’s one of the best out there. And might have beens are might have beens; yes, Woods could have won with a better opening round, or with a few different breaks Sunday, but a 72-hole tournament is about consistency, and Koepka had more of that this time around. But Woods made a remarkable comeback to put himself in contention, and he generated a whole lot of interest for this event (and presumably a whole lot of ratings for CBS) in the process. Will he be able to build on that for future tournaments? Who knows. But the TV executives will certainly be hoping that he can…

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.