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Koepka Wins P.G.A. Championship, Vanquishing Demons and Boosting LIV

Koepka Wins P.G.A. Championship, Vanquishing Demons and Boosting LIV

Koepka answered with a tantalizing streak: birdie, bogey, birdie. Hovland had a chance for birdie at the 12th hole, but his tap from nearly 15 feet edged just left of the cup. With six holes to play, Koepka’s advantage was back to two strokes. Two holes later, it was down to one.

Havoc for Hovland came at No. 16, when, after his tee shot arrived in a bunker, he wielded his nine-iron. With less than 175 yards to the hole, he swung and blasted his ball — not onto the green, but into the bunker’s lip. His fourth shot reached the green. A bogey putt missed, leaving him with a double bogey. Koepka, in the twilight of his pursuit for his third P.G.A. Championship, made a birdie to lay claim to a four-stroke lead.

Scheffler made a birdie putt at the 18th green soon after to narrow Koepka’s path. Koepka himself narrowed it further with a bogey at No. 17.

He came to the 18th tee, still, after everything, with two shots to spare. He had not made a bogey on the hole, playing 497 yards on Sunday, all week. His tee shot raced 318 yards and thumped into the fairway, the towering grandstands in the distance and the galleries thick with spectators, ready to see whether, after everything, Koepka was indeed back.

He reached the green with the next swing, the applause rising as he marched up the steep incline. He knelt. He approached the ball, steadied himself and tapped it forward. The ball stopped just short — 3 inches, according to tournament officials.

Of course, there would be one last hiccup.

He tried again. The ball fell into the cup.

Indeed, after everything, Koepka was back.

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