Brooks Koepka vs Tiger Woods: A comparison of their first four major wins
Last Updated: 21/05/19 6:32am
Brooks Koepka's PGA Championship victory at Bethpage on Sunday secured him his fourth major success and as a result only two active players are now ahead of him in terms of major wins - Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson with 15 and five respectively.
Koepka still has some way to go to match Woods' total, but how do their records compare as they claimed their first four victories?
First major win
Woods' first six major appearances came as an amateur, with a best finish of joint-22nd in the 1996 Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
He turned professional in August 1996 at the age of 20 and made an immediate impression in the paid ranks, culminating in a stunning performance as he won the 1997 Masters, aged 21, in his seventh major appearance.
Woods rewrote the record books as he triumphed by 12 shots from Tom Kite after rounds of 70, 66, 65 and 69 earned him the lowest Masters score of 18 under and ensured he became the youngest winner of the event.
Koepka's major debut also came as an amateur, aged 22, in the 2012 US Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco where he missed the cut.
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He turned professional shortly afterwards and opted to try his luck on the European Challenge Tour before graduating to the European Tour and then the PGA Tour.
Koepka missed the cut again in the 2013 Open at Muirfield - the last time he failed to make the weekend in a major - and another 12 major appearances followed, which included four top-10 finishes, before he broke his duck at the 15th attempt at the age of 27 in the 2017 US Open at Erin Hills.
There was also a notable landmark for Koepka as his 16-under total of 272 matched the lowest ever at the championship.
Rounds of 67, 70 and 68 kept him towards the top of the leaderboard before a final-round 67 saw him prevail by four from Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama.
Second major win
After such an emphatic win at the 1997 Masters, it was a big surprise that the next 10 majors went by without another Woods victory.
He still performed consistently with a lowest finish of 29th and five top 10s, but it was not until the 1999 PGA Championship that Woods tasted major glory again.
Now aged 23, he moved into a share of the lead with Mike Weir after three rounds following scores of 70, 67 and 68 and then emerged victorious thanks to a level-par 72 which was good enough to repel the challenge of Sergio Garcia by one shot.
In contrast, Koepka's wait for his second major win was much shorter with strong finishes coming in The Open and PGA Championship - he then missed the Masters with a wrist injury - before he retained the US Open crown at Shinnecock Hills in 2018.
He became the first player in nearly three decades to defend the title when he triumphed by one shot from Tommy Fleetwood in New York.
With conditions not conducive to low scoring, Koepka was tied for the lead on three over with fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger and Tony Finau after three rounds following scores of 75, 66 and 72.
He then took command in the final round with three birdies over the first five holes and, despite a bogey at the 18th, he was able to hold off a charging Fleetwood, who shot a 63, thanks to a two-under 68.
Third major win
Woods was now on a roll and at the peak of his powers, claiming a fifth-placed finish in the 2000 Masters, after turning 24 over the winter, before making it two major wins in three events at the 2000 US Open.
He led from wire-to-wire as he claimed the first of his three US Open victories by a record margin at Pebble Beach, in his sixth appearance in the tournament.
Woods made the most of his early start with a six-under 65 in the opening round to lead by one and then defied difficult conditions in a weather-hit second round for a 69 which extended his advantage to six shots.
The strong winds and deep rough tested the field in the third round, but Woods still went round in level-par 71 to move 10 clear and he was on a different level to the rest of the field in the final round with a bogey-free 67 to move to 12 under and a remarkable 15 shots ahead of joint runners-up Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ernie Els.
Koepka also had a short wait for his third major win, suffering a rare off week as he tied for 39th in the 2018 Open at Carnoustie, before winning the PGA Championship for the first time at the sixth attempt.
He equalled the Bellerive course record as he followed an opening 69 with a 63 and back-to-back 66s over the weekend secured Koepka a two-shot victory over Woods, whose 64 was the best final round of his career in a major.
Koepka's 16-under, 72-hole score of 264 set the PGA Championship record and matched the lowest total in a major.
Fourth major win
Woods' fourth victory came immediately after his third as he continued his record-breaking form in the 2000 Open at St Andrews.
His winning margin of eight shots over Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els is a tournament record and his 19-under total of 269, after rounds of 67, 66, 67 and 69, was a major record at the time.
Even more notably, his first Open victory - again at the sixth time of asking - meant he became the fifth player to complete the career Grand Slam and the youngest to do so, at 24 he was two years younger than Jack Nicklaus.
Koepka almost made it back-to-back majors himself when he finished just a shot behind Woods at this year's Masters, but he only had to wait another month for his fourth win as he also ripped up the history books at Bethpage Black.
In retaining the PGA Championship, now the second major of the year, he became the first man to be a two-time defending champion at two of the four majors at the same time.
Koepka led from wire-to-wire, following his opening 63 with a 65 to set new tournament records for 18 and 36-hole scores, while his seven-shot advantage after 54 holes was also a PGA Championship record.
Dustin Johnson threatened to overhaul him on the back nine but he held firm to triumph by two shots on eight-under 272.
As a result, he became the first player to win his first four major championships in two years or less and the fourth player to win multiple majors in consecutive years, following on from Woods.
Back in 2000 Woods went from strength to strength as he quickly followed his fourth victory with numbers five and six at the PGA Championship and 2001 Masters to complete his 'Tiger Slam'.
After a barren 11 years he claimed his 15th major success at this year's Masters at the age of 43, so there is plenty of time for 29-year-old Koepka to make further inroads into his total.
His next chance comes at next month's US Open at Pebble Beach - the scene of Woods' famous 2000 victory - and in his current form he must have a good chance of completing a remarkable hat-trick of wins in the event and making it five victories in nine majors.
Koepka will then make his sixth appearance in The Open at Royal Portrush in July as he goes in search of the third leg of a career Grand Slam.