Brooks Koepka Wins PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka During the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational First Round Groupings at Bay HIll Club Lodge in Orlando Florida on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis

Brooks Koepka led the Masters back in April by four shots nearly midway through the third round, all to let it slip away. He entered the final round of the PGA Championship Sunday at Oak Hill at the top of the leaderboard and promised the story would not end the same as it did at Augusta.

Keeping poised and focused through the final round, Koepka flourished with a 3-under par round of 67 to finish at 9-under par. He won the PGA Championship by two shots over Scottie Scheffler, who posted a round of 65, and Viktor Hovland, who recorded a 68.

Koepka was paired with Hovland, and the two players went toe-to-toe with just a single shot between them as they approached the 16th tee. Hovland’s tee shot went awry into a fairway bunker. His approach landed in the face of a greenside bunker, forcing an unplayable lie and an eventual double bogey. After a Koepka birdie, the lead was four, and the win was all but in the books.

The win was Koepka’s fifth major title and his third Wanamaker Trophy. He is the only player other than Jack Nicklaus to win the PGA Championship three times over a six-year period. The 5th major championship tied Koepka for 15th with the likes of Bryon Nelson and Seve Ballesteros.

Koepka now has nine PGA Tour wins, but his first since February 2021. Once against the LIV Tour, Koepka decided to join in the middle of last season. He won twice on LIV from October through April, his second coming just a week prior to the Masters.

Determined to walk away this week with another major title, Koepka birdied three of the first four holes to bolster his lead to three. An errant drive on the 6th led to the first of two straight bogeys. He still led by a shot heading to the back nine. Scottie Scheffler made a charge but never got closer than two shots back, eventually finishing tied for second with Hovland.  Koepka maintained a cushion throughout and cruised in with a bogey-par finish to post nine-under par.

Perhaps the biggest roar of the day came on the par-3 15th as club pro Michael Block slam-dunked his 7-iron from the tee for a hole-in-one. He made a great par save from off the green on the 18th as his putt sneaked into the hole to finish with a 71 and tie for 15th.  That earned Block a spot in next year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla.

The Valhalla Golf Club, located in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted the PGA Championship in 2014 when Rory McIlroy won his fourth major title. Although McIlroy came up short this week, he energized the crowd with a stellar shot at the first but gave it right back on the 2nd. All told, the number three player in the world posted a 69 and a tie for 7th.

Koepka will look to add his 6h major and third U.S. Open title next month at the Los Angeles Country Club.

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