Heading into the final round of the 2019 PGA Championship, Dustin Johnson sought to run down Brooks Koepka for his second major championship while also looking to be the only player in the field to shoot four sub-70 rounds for the week.
Dustin’s effort got off to a slow start in Thursday’s first round when his first shot of the day found the thick rough, and he was only able to advance the ball 30 yards on his second shot en route to his only bogey of the day. DJ quickly steadied his play from there, making seven consecutive pars until carding a birdie on No. 9. After he was unable to tame the beast at the par-5 13th, Dustin bounced back with a great birdie from the right rough on No. 15. His opening round 69 (-1) left him seven shots back of Brooks Koepka.
Round 2 began in the same fashion, but from a different starting point as Dustin bogeyed his opening hole at No. 10. Once more, DJ quickly recovered and went on to birdie Holes 11 and 13. After a solid par on 14, Dustin birdied his next three holes to get to four under on the round. Though he capped his front nine with a hard-luck bogey on 18, he made the turn in 32. The highlight of DJ’s second nine was sinking a lengthy birdie putt on No. 7 that got him back to three under for the day. His second-round 67 kept Dustin in the mix should Koepka falter.
Dustin came out of the chute fast in Saturday’s Round 3 with a first-hole birdie, adding three more birdies on the front nine including at the dauntingly long No. 9. Those birdies, wrapped around one bogey, had DJ making the turn in 32. But the back nine did not go Dustin’s way as he came back in with a two-over 37. A third-round 69 had DJ sitting seven shots back of Koepka.
Sunday morning players awoke to what would prove to be the toughest task they’d face all week. The wind was up, making scoring conditions especially tough on the world’s best players. While his three-under 32 on the front nine helped vault him up the leaderboard, Koepka remained firmly in control until some back-nine stumbles created one last opening for Dustin. As Koepka was making bogies, DJ birdied 15 to get within two. But that was as close as Dustin would get to capturing the Wanamaker Trophy as Koepka held on for the victory with DJ finishing solo second, marking Dustin’s second straight runner-up finish in a major.
Though he didn’t win, Dustin’s four sub-70 rounds helped him maintain the No.2 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.