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When Brooks Koepka was 10 years old, he was in a car accident that forced him to temporarily stop playing hockey, his favorite sport. Somewhat reluctantly, he picked up golf — a sport he is now dominating in ways we've never seen.
What happened: Despite a rough Sunday that saw him almost become the first golfer to blow a seven-stroke lead after 54 holes, Koepka held on to win the PGA Championship for the second straight year.
Why it matters: This is Koepka's fourth win in his last eight majors, which is absurd. He's batting .500. And, because he also won the U.S. Open in 2017 and 2018, he's the first man to hold back-to-back titles in two major championships.
The backdrop: Four years ago, Rory McIlory and Jordan Spieth were golf's post-Tiger superstars, and most fans had never even heard of Koepka, who was grinding it out on the European Tour. But Woods' former caddie Stevie Williams saw something in his game and tried to warn us about what was coming.
"Once in a great while, a player comes along who hits a golf ball the way it was meant to be hit. Powerful, piercing, the perfect trajectory. Of the young players out there, one I've seen has that special ball flight: Brooks Koepka. ... Obviously he's searching to find the other parts of the puzzle, but I haven't seen a ball flight like that since Tiger, and before that, Johnny Miller."— Stevie Williams in a 2015 interview with Golf Digest
What's next: Barring a dramatic drop-off, putting money on Brooks to win any major tournament moving forward feels like a fairly safe bet.
Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points to lead the Toronto Raptors past the Milwaukee Bucks, 118-112, in double overtime last night in a must-win Game 3 at home.
The intrigue: Leonard played a playoff career-high 52 minutes, yet appeared to have infinitely more energy than everyone else on the floor as the game was winding down. Perhaps that's because he spent the winter hibernating.
The backdrop: The NBA has a policy against resting healthy players and has handed out heavy fines when teams have done it in the past — an understandable response considering the absence of a superstar affects everything from ticket sales and TV ratings to the league's competitive spirit.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Spotlight Series: Each day this week, we'll be highlighting a sports-related company that's worth knowing more about.
What it does: Fanatics is an online retailer that has, through a combination of technology, manufacturing and licensing deals, muscled its way to the top of the sports apparel world.
The big picture: Fanatics is to sports apparel what Amazon is to, well, everything else. They make it, they sell it and they run the website where you buy it.
The bottom line: Most small businesses that want to sell products online use Shopify or a similar service. Similarly, most sports leagues (and even some teams) that want to sell apparel online are now signing deals with Fanatics — and then handing over the reins.
NEW YORK — American boxing fans finally have an undefeated homegrown heavyweight star in Deontay Wilder, and the Alabama native delivered on Saturday night with a stunning first-round knockout against Dominic Breazeale. See all the angles.
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Reigning champions Yale beat Ivy League rival Penn 19-18 in OT to cap off a historic quarterfinal weekend in men's D1 lacrosse that saw three games go to overtime. ... Semifinals: Yale vs. Penn State and Virginia vs. Duke.
BALTIMORE — War of Will won the 144th Preakness Stakes, but the most memorable image of the day was jockey John Velazquez being thrown from Bodexpress moments after the gates opened. The horse finished the race without him.
ROME, Italy — After losing in the semifinals of three straight clay-court tournaments, Rafael Nadal dominated his longtime rival Novak Djokovic, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, to win his record ninth Italian Open title.
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
From last in the league in early January to the brink of their first Stanley Cup Final in 49 years, it's been quite a ride for the St. Louis Blues.
By the numbers:
What's next: San Jose faces elimination for the third straight series and must win Game 6 in St. Louis tomorrow night to keep their season alive.
119 years ago today, the second modern Olympic Games in Paris featured women for the first time in the history of the event.
Go deeper: The history of women in the Olympics
Shane Bieber (23 years old, 353 days) became the fourth-youngest pitcher to strike out 15 batters in the Indians' 10-0 win over the Orioles yesterday.
Photo: Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images
If, for whatever reason, you were looking for some type of fusion between baseball and dodgeball, look no further than Oină — the national sport of Romania.
How it works: There are two teams, each made up of 11 players. Games last two "innings" and often take no longer than 30 minutes. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Which Curry are you rolling with tonight? Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Axios Pick 3 is powered by The Action Network, your one-stop shop for all things sports betting. Download the app today.
1. 🏀 Will the Warriors (-3.5) cover the spread in Game 4?
2. 🏀 Will Warriors vs. Trail Blazers go over or under 220 points?
3. ⚾️ How many runs will Phillies starter Jake Arrieta surrender in his first start against his former team, the Cubs?
🎰 Play now: Make your picks (cutoff time: 8pm ET)
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "Brooks > Bran" Baker
Trivia answer: Dwight "Doc" Gooden (19 years, 301 days)