'I hung in there' - Tiger Woods optimistic after best ever major final round

The ball rested on the edge of the cup, its logo peeking into the hole for what seemed like forever.

Back in the day, that ball dropped for Tiger Woods. Today, it wouldn't budge.

Yes, Woods might have finished second by two strokes to Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship to extend his drought without a major for at least eight more months.

But after the scrambling, club-slamming, fist-pumping, electrifying show he put on over a round of 6-under 64 - his best closing round at a major - it was hard to believe that dry spell can last much longer.

"I played hard," he said. "A bit of a struggle with my game today, but I hung in there."

More than just hung in.

Even after the excruciating miss on No. 11 - one that looked a lot like his teetering, toppling chip on No. 16 at The Masters in 2005, except that one went in - Woods stayed very much in the mix.

Shortly after 5 p.m., he had a 20-foot putt on the 16th green that would've tied him with Koepka, who was two holes behind but may as well have been playing on another course compared to the frenzy in front of him.

That putt slid just past.

And Woods' last chance to apply real pressure vanished when he pushed his tee the par-5 17th right of the creek running along the right side of the hole. Woods slammed the head of his driver to the ground, then swung it violently in frustration.

He scrambled to make par but was three back of Koepka, who birdied 15 and 16 behind him, by the time he reached the 18th fairway.

On No. 18, Woods offered one final flourish. He drained his longest putt of the tournament, a 19-footer putt for birdie, and pumped his fist to celebrate.

Back in the day, that fist pump on the 18th green would've been to celebrate a win.

On this day, he was celebrating the grind - and the fact that he simply would not go away.

And, in many ways, it felt like old times for the 42-year-old - he of the multiple back surgeries who could barely swing a club a few years back, but has now contended on the back nine in consecutive majors, only to come up short, more agonizingly so this time than at Carnoustie three weeks ago.

"I never would've foreseen that two years ago," Woods said. "I'm just so thankful to be here."

Tiger Woods of the US plays off the 3rd tee during the third round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Saturday July 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Cleaver)
Tiger Woods of the US plays off the 3rd tee during the third round of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Saturday July 21, 2018. Source: Associated Press


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Brooks Koepka claims first ever PGA Championship title, Tiger Woods second

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of the final round of the PGA Championship, from Missouri.

LEADERBOARD

Brooks Koepka (-16)
Tiger Woods (-14)
Adam Scott (-13)

11:10am

A brilliant win for Koepka, adding the PGA Championship to his back-to-back US Open crowns. Two majors for Koepka in the same year, with Patrick Reed taking the Masters, while Francesco Molinari became the first Italian major winner with victory at the Open last month.

What a year its been!

11:00am: Brooks Koepka wins the PGA Championship

Koepka can tap home and win the title, with Scott yet to even hit the green. 

Now then, Koepka has a birdie putt to win it, but the ball stops just short! What an anti-climax, he'll still win, but jeez that would have been cool.

Scott can only make a bogey, meaning he'll finish third, Tiger Woods takes second place.

10:48am

Scott's tee shot on the 18th is into the trees, effectively giving Koepka the win.

10:45am

Koepka misses his chance for birdie on the 17th, giving Scott the chance to move within one shot of the lead. Scott for birdie, but he's missed too!

Koepka leads by two shots with one hole left to play.

10:41am

A brilliant reception for Tiger as he heads back to the clubhouse. He's put on one hell of a show these past two days, and looked as close to his old self as we've seen in a long time.

10:38am

Tiger with his final putt, and he birdies the1th to move level with Adam Scott. It'll still take an almighty choke from Koepka to seal the title though.

10:26am

Woods saves par on the 17th after a dreadful start to his penultimate hole.

10:22am

Rahm moves to -11, Stewart Cink finishes on the same score.

10:21am

Koepka with a chance for birdie on the 16th, to send him two shots clear of Scott, three ahead of Tiger. And he's only gone and sunk it!

Scott makes par on the same hole, having narrowly missed a brilliant chip in. This tournament is now Kopeka's to lose.

10:18am

Tiger's third shot on the 16th finds the bunker. Barring a collapse from Scott and Koepka, that should be his chances of a win today gone.

10:15am

Thomas also finishes at -10, he was looking like the man to beat earlier today.

10:11am

Koepka and Scott putting on the 15th. Scott goes first and misses the chance for birdie. Koepka now with a chance for the outright lead.

He's got it! Pressure putt from Koepka and he makes it look easy!

10:07am

Molinari finishes at -10, he won't be winning today.

10:06am

Tiger has another birdie putt on the 16th, for a share of the lead. He lines up the putt - which has to be around 20 feet - but the ball just curves away to the left!

He takes the par to stay one behind the leaders with two holes to play.

9:56am

Woods birdies the 15th, he's now back to one behind the front pair.

9:55am

Koepka with a chance for birdie and the outright lead on the 14th, but he misses too! Scott and Koepka still even.

9:54am

Scott with a huge putt to take the outright lead, but it comes up short! He taps home for par.

9:47am

Pieters finishes at -10. After a bright start, he won't be winning this one today.

9:41am

Tiger with a long putt to save par on the 14th and the ball kisses the rim and rolls away! Woods takes the bogey to sit two shots back of the leaders.

9:40am

Make that back to back birdies for Adam Scott! He moves clear of Woods and level with Koepka!

9:35am

Adam Scott's not going away any time soon though! The Aussie birdies the 12th to move to -13 alongside Woods.

9:29am

Another birdie for Tiger! He's now just one shot behind Koepka after the 13th.

9:20am

Woods birdies the 12th and he's now just two shots behind Koepka!

9:10am

Thomas drops a shot with a bogey on the 14th, while Pieters double bogey's the 17th!

9:04am

Adam Scott sinks a birdie on the 10th to move into joint second.

9:00am

Woods misses a huge chance to move into a share for second! His birdie putt stops just short of the hole.

8:48am

Koepka and Pieters both grab birdies, while Woods misses the chance to do the same. Pieters has birdied his last three holes, hot on Koepka's tail!

8:38am

What do we have here? Spain's Jon Rahm making a quiet charge in the last round, up to -10 and in with an outside chance!

8:30am

As things stand, overnight leader Brooks Koepka is in serious danger of wasting his chance at bringing home his second Major of the year.

Hot on his trail, are Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Thomas Pieters - however, there's still a lot of golf to be played!

Keep up with all the action right here.


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Ryan Fox drops out of top 20 on rain-affected day at PGA Championship

Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox has dropped out of the top 20 at the PGA Championship in Missouri, during a rain affected second round at the Bellerive Country Club.

Starting the day on the back nine after his opening round of -2, Fox began brilliantly with back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes.

However, a bogey on the 18th meant Fox was his first blemish for the round.

Three pars to open the front nine meant Fox wouldn't lose anymore ground on the leaders, before rain arrived to end his day.

Fox sits tied for 23rd with six holes to play in his second round, seven shots behind leader Gary Woodland of the USA who is -10.

TROON, SCOTLAND - JULY 16:  Ryan Fox of New Zealand tees off on the 2nd hole during the final round of the AAM Scottish Open at Dundonald Links Golf Course on July 16, 2017 in Troon, Scotland.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ryan Fox Source: Getty


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