Brooks Koepka didn’t hear the roars orchestrated by Tiger Woods’ charge at the US PGA Championship but he admitted the 14-time major champion pushed him to get over the line at Bellerive.
The three-time major champion’s four-under 66 was enough to hold off an energised Woods, who finished two stokes behind.
As expected, the galleries were behind 14-time major champion Woods, but that didn’t perturb Koepka.
“Yeah, I think, other than me, my team, everybody was rooting for Tiger. I mean, as they should…he's the greatest player to ever play the game, and to have the comeback that he's having is incredible,” he said.
“You look at the British Open, when he finally got that lead, how energetic that crowd was. And then when he started making that run, it brought me back to when I was a kid and when I was watching him and you heard those roars. I remember I went to the British Open…I forget what year it was. When Ben Curtis won. And he was kind of making a charge, and you could hear the roars.”
“I mean, being a part of that as a fan is cool, and even when you're playing, it's still pretty neat. It kind of pushes you to step up your game. I mean, you have to because you know he's right there if you fall."
But Koepka didn’t fall, rather he landed a second major of 2018 after victory at the US Open.
A testament to his power of concentration, Koepka said he didn’t even hear the deafening roars echoing around the Florida layout.
“I couldn't hear it. I mean, everybody on the golf course heard it. It was actually quite funny. You could hear the roars when we were on 10 and 11, and then you could kind of hear it trickle down as they changed the leaderboards all the way through,” he said.
“You could hear a different roar like every 30 seconds. So we knew what was going on. It's pretty obvious when Tiger makes a birdie. I think everybody at the golf course cheers for him. I'm sure everyone is rooting for him.
“But I mean, the roars…the crowd was unbelievable with the amount of people that were out here is incredible.”
Woods waited for Koepka as the champion headed off the 18th green, with the pair sharing a warm ebrace. Game recognising game, as they say.