Whether you watched all four days of the tournament, or your buddy texted you on Sunday evening telling you to turn the T.V. on, you were missing out on something special if you didn't catch the conclusion to the 2018 PGA Championship. The 100th edition of the year's final major championship was filled to the brim with drama, whether it was the ambition of defending champion Justin Thomas to repeat, the coronation of Brooks Koepka as golf's new crown prince or the resurrection of a once thought extinct legend in Tiger Woods.
The tournament wrapped up the major championship slate for the 2018 calendar, and has us looking short-term towards the Ryder Cup, and long-term towards The Masters® 2019 in April.
As we reflect on this past weekend, here are the major takeaways that will leave a footprint in golf's colossal landscape.
Tiger Woods Can Win a Major
It's going to happen. It didn't happen at The Open Championship, or at the PGA Championship on Sunday, but the tides are turning in favor of the 14-time major champion. If there ever was to be a tell that golf's once dominant prodigy was back on the horse after a decade-long dry spell in major competition, it was Woods' animation on the 18th hole after sinking his final putt of the tournament for birdie.
As the ball approached the cup, you could feel the collective breathing in of the mob watching. When the ball went in, the crowd — and Woods — erupted. Decked in his Sunday red, Woods released all the energy from his body to produce one of his patented fist pumps — a gesture normally reserved for major championship victories. But the elation was one of relief as much as it was a celebration of success. If Woods was finally making it close to the top of the hill after his performance at The Open, this was him standing tall at the crest and shouting into the heavens:
But in a less romantic tone, Woods' performance on Sunday was one of real mental vigor. Woods struggled to hit onto the fairway consistently on the front nine, but was still able to finish the first half of the course at 11-under, keeping him in contention. He remained strong until a bogey on No. 14 stifled his momentum. The halt in success was temporary, as Woods finished in the back nine at a consistent pace, but didn't do enough to catch up to Koepka.
CBS says yesterday's PGA Championship broadcast (where Tiger Woods nearly won) was the highest rating for the final round since 2009.— Gerry Smith (@gerryfsmith) August 13, 2018
On this day, second place would have to be enough. But narrative is more real than ever: Tiger is going to get one, and it could be at Augusta National® in eight months.
Tiger Woods finished 2017 656th in the World Golf Rankings. Today he is 26th.— Ron Mintz (@MintzGolf) August 13, 2018
Brooks Koepka Is The Real Deal
This may be the coldest take in all of the golf world, but it's worth stating after Koepka's stellar performance was overshadowed by the ambiance surrounding Woods' chase. While the flock of media and cameramen chased Woods throughout every fairway and green, the story of a another man about to win his third major in 14 months was unfolding.
Koepka kept a quite confidence throughout the back nine on Sunday as victory came closer and closer to reality. His drives were drilling the center of the fairway almost like they were magnetized to it, and he would strut down the course with zero facial expression — as if it's just another day at the office.
The ironic thing about the media being consumed with Woods on Sunday is that they're likely missing history in the making. With his victory at Bellerive, the 28-year old Koepka secured his title at Player of the Year and as the new man to beat on tour. Most likely, a No.1 world ranking is also on its way for the West Palm Beach native.
So while everyone's eyes are on Tiger, Koepka won't worry — he'll just keep on winning.
By winning the @PGAChampionship with a 16-under, Brooks Koepka became the 3rd player with multiple major victories at 15-under or better.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 13, 2018
The other two golfers to accomplish this feat?
Tiger Woods with 6 such victories and Rory McIlroy with 3. pic.twitter.com/qtCIDVQEtq
Jordan Spieth is Ready to Move On from 2018
Are you ever just excited to move on from something and into something new? Not that anything catastrophic happened, but you just need something to change for you to feel fresh? That's the case with Jordan Spieth and his 2018 campaign.
The 25-year old currently has no major wins this year and no wins in over a year. There was consistent buzz going into the PGA Championship this past month that Spieth may be due for his career Grand Slam at Bellerive, but that turned out to just be a pipe dream.
Spieth finished tied for 12th this weekend at four-under — a solid performance, but not enough to instill a large amount of confidence in fans of the young golfer. However, Spieth left the tournament encouraged, saying that his game feels the best it has in over a year.
And while 2018 had nothing for Spieth, he recently opened up as the odds on favorite for The Masters® 2019 in April. Maybe for Spieth, it takes the turning of the calendar to get a new leaf to turn for his career.
Francesco Molinari Is Here to Stay
After an inspiring performance at The 2018 Open Championship, Francesco Molinari followed it up with an impressive outing at the PGA Championship. The Italian finished tied for sixth, making his summer a career-defining one. He's consistently stayed near the top of leader boards throughout the past few months, and will likely carry that momentum into 2019.
Next Up: The Masters® 2019
While the major calendar for 2018 now done, we're looking forward to being at Augusta National® in April! You can find yourself at any of the days of the The Masters® 2019 with a ticket from QuintEvents. Choose from grounds access to practice or tournament rounds (or both!) and enjoy your experience with one of our incredible hospitality options!