Brooks Koepka had history in his sights as he prepared to begin the final round of the US PGA Championship with a commanding seven-stroke lead.
Victory at Bethpage’s Black Course appeared a formality for Koepka, who was seeking to become the first man to be a reigning two-time champion of the U.S. Open and PGA Championship at the same time.
The record winning margin in the PGA was also well within the leader’s sights. Rory McIlroy set that benchmark with an eight-shot triumph in 2012 and Koepka was seven clear with 18 holes to play.
At 12 under, the runaway leader – due out at 2:35pm local time (7:35pm BST) – needed a 65 in the final round to improve on the lowest aggregate score of 264 he set at Bellerive 12 months ago.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 19, 2019
World number one Dustin Johnson was one of four men sharing second at five under, along with Jazz Janewattananond, Harold Varner III and Luke List, while Hideki Matsuyama and Matt Wallace were a further shot back.
However, all those players knew a significant slip-up from Koepka was required if they were to have any chance, a scenario that appeared unlikely given his recent form in the biggest events.
A fourth major win inside two years would leave Koepka behind only Phil Mickelson (5) and Tiger Woods (15) among active players.