Brooks Koepka's fourth major title in two years vaulted the new No. 1 player in the world into the position of the favorite to win next month's U.S. Open.
Instead, Johnson left Bethpage Black with the No. 2 ranking and another second-place finish, giving him one in each of golf's four majors.
"This one's definitely at the top of the list in how emotionally spent I am", said Koepka. He closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958.
Pebble Beach will host its sixth U.S. Open, and will play at 7,075 yards, its longest length for the national championship.
Koepka steadied the ship with vital pars on the tough 15th and 16th holes and eventually signed for a closing 74 - the highest final round by a major victor in 15 years - and a two-shot victory.
And, thanks to Johnson, this one ranks No. 1.
"I know I'm jealous of him".
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Koepka had entered the U.S. Open with +4000 (40/1) odds in each of the past two years, en route to becoming the seventh player to win the championship back-to-back, and the first since Curtis Strange in 1988-89. "Hit the shot I wanted to right at the flag", Johnson said.
"It's super enjoyable and I'll just try to ride that momentum going into Pebble [Beach, venue for the US Open]". "He's one of the guys that I look for that I have to beat". I'm going to get a lot better.
It's incredible when you consider the quality of players who have not managed to win majors - Westwood, Donald, Montgomerie, Fowler - there's an incredible array of rich talent, and for him to come out and win four of the last eight is just incredible, it really is.
Johnson was tied for ninth after an opening-round 69 and moved up to fourth with a 67 on Friday.
"My caddie Sam (Haywood) caddied for Pete (Uihlein) when he and Brooks were hanging round together and we spent a good bit of time together", added Willett, who finished 15 shots adrift of the victor after he followed Saturday's third-round 69 with a final round 77 that left him on 287.
Naturally, fans have started comparing Koepka to Tiger Woods - who has 81 PGA Tour wins throughout his career and completely changed the golf world. Koepka's playing companion Harold Varner III, however, was annoyed by the crowd reaction.
- ======================= Koepka seized a tournament-record lead of seven strokes after 54 holes on 12-under par 198. The 2016 U.S. Open victor birdied No. 15 to move to 8 under, and Koepka had bogeyed four straight to drop to 9 under.
"Phenomenal", said Koepka. "It's been a hell of a run". "What do you expect when you're half-choking it away?" "The wind was howling in my face", he said. He came undone with a shot he thought would be flawless - a 5-iron from 194 yards, dead into the wind on the 16.