By Karen Price | May 19, 2019, 7:40 p.m. (ET)

Brooks Koepka reacts after putting in to win on the 18th green at the 2019 PGA Championship on May 19, 2019 in Farmingdale, New York.

 

To the surprise of no one who watched the first 54 holes of the PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka won his fourth major title at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York on Sunday.

Koepka entered the day with a seven-shot lead, the largest through three rounds in the history of the event, at 12-under par and finished 8-under, beating Dustin Johnson by two strokes. He’s now the first back-to-back U.S. Open and back-to-back PGA Championship winner in the history of the game, an astounding accomplishment considering the talented players who’ve gone before him. 

The only player to win consecutive PGA Championships in stroke play before Koepka was Tiger Woods, who did it twice. Koepka is also the first wire-to-wire PGA Championship winner in 36 years. This year’s tournament is being held in May for the first time after traditionally being held in August. 

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Perhaps the greatest challenge on Sunday came from the wind, with gusts up to 35 miles per hour creating difficulties on the course. Koepka’s only real test from his fellow competitors, however, came from Johnson. Koepka bogeyed the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th holes and watched his lead shrink as Johnson had the round of the day. 

Johnson’s birdie on No. 15 got him within two strokes of Koepka, but no golfer had ever lost a seven-shot lead after 54 holes in a major and Koepka wasn’t going to become the first. A pair of late bogeys hurt Johnson, who’s now finished as the runner-up in all four majors, and Koepka held on for the win. He shot a final-round 74, while Johnson finished 6-under with a final-round 69.

Koepka started the tournament with an opening round seven-under 63 and then shot 65 on Friday for a 36-hole majors scoring record.

With the win, Koepka moved past Johnson to No. 1 in the world golf rankings and further strengthened his chances of making the 2020 Olympic team, as the qualification period runs through the 2020 U.S. Open in June 2020. Each country can take a maximum of four golfers per gender to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 

The U.S. Open is the next major golf tournament. That is scheduled to take place June 13-16 in Pebble Beach, California. 

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.