All these accidents that made Brooks Koepka marvel if he was nonetheless amongst golf’s elite had been put to relaxation Sunday at Oak Hill in Pittsford, N.Y., when he beat the strongest subject of the yr and gained the PGA Championship for his fifth main title.
Determined as ever to revive his popularity because the participant to beat within the majors, Koepka ran off three fast birdies early, by no means misplaced the lead amid a gritty battle from Viktor Hovland and closed with a 3-under 67 for a two-shot victory.
Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., entered Sunday’s motion one shot behind the chief, however had a tough day and shot 5-over to complete in a tie for twelfth place at even par.
Koepka gained his third Wanamaker Trophy — solely Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen with 5 and Tiger Woods with 4 have gained the PGA Championship extra instances — and captured his first main in 4 years.
WATCH | Koepka wins fifth main title:
LIV golfer Brooks Koepka wins PGA Championship for fifth main title
And to suppose the 18 months Koepka was so wounded he felt he could not compete, a choice which may have led to him leaving the PGA Tour for Saudi-funded LIV Golf in a surprising transfer final June after the U.S. Open.
In the Netflix sequence “Full Swing” that started aired earlier this yr, he was quoted as saying his confidence had given technique to doubt. “I’m going to be trustworthy with you, I am unable to compete with these guys week in and week out.”
Give him good well being and a transparent head, and good luck taking down Koepka within the majors.
He now has gained 5 of his final 22 majors, a charge exceeded solely by Woods, Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo and Ben Hogan within the final 75 years.
Koepka is in fairly heady firm nearly all over the place he seems to be. His 5 majors are as many as Seve Ballesteros and Byron Nelson. Among lively gamers, solely Woods (15) and Phil Mickelson (6) have extra.
“I’m not even positive I dream of it as a child, that I’d win that many,” he mentioned.
Koepka seemed as highly effective as ever and left little doubt about his place within the sport along with his two-shot win over hard-luck Hovland (68) and Scottie Scheffler, who closed with a 65 and returned to No. 1 on the planet.
“To look again to the place we had been two years in the past, I’m so blissful proper now,” Koepka mentioned. “This is simply the good factor.”
The victory strikes Koepka to No. 13 on the planet and No. 2 within the Ryder Cup standings. The prime six mechanically qualify, and it might be arduous to fathom leaving Koepka off the American workforce. He can solely early factors within the majors, and two extra are nonetheless to return.
Block caps particular event with ace
Koepka needed to share the loudest cheers with California membership professional Michael Block, who placed on a tremendous present over 4 days. Block made a hole-in-one on the fifteenth gap whereas taking part in with Rory McIlroy, after which made two powerful par putts on the finish for a fourth straight 70.
He tied for fifteenth, giving him a return date to the PGA Championship subsequent yr at Valhalla. It was the perfect end by a membership professional since Lonnie Nielsen tied for 11 in 1986 at Inverness.
WATCH | Block delivers ace on fifteenth gap:
Club professional Michael Block aces fifteenth gap in PGA Championship last spherical
“The most surreal second I’ve ever had in my life,” Block mentioned. “I’m dwelling a dream and ensuring I’m having fun with the second. Not getting any higher than this — no method in hell.”
Block fees $125 US a lesson at Arroyo Trabuco in Mission Viejo, California. He earned simply wanting $290,000 at Oak Hill.
Winding highway for Koepka again to main title
For Koepka, his fifth main may need been the sweetest of all contemplating the scrutiny of his pedestrian play introduced on by accidents and his resolution to affix LIV Golf, the place he has gained two of the 54-hole occasions.
A month in the past on the Masters, Koepka misplaced a two-shot lead within the last spherical by taking part in tentatively and was overrun by Jon Rahm. He vowed he wouldn’t try this once more, and Koepka delivered in a serious method, identical to he used to.
Hovland made it simple for him on the finish. Koepka was one shot forward on the sixteenth gap when Hovland hit his 9-iron from a bunker that plugged into the lip in entrance of him — the identical shot that stopped Conners on Saturday — and made double bogey.
Koepka gouged out a shot from the tough to five ft for birdie and all of a sudden was main by 4 pictures when Hovland made double bogey.
Scheffler began 4 pictures behind and by no means bought nearer than two. His 65 matched the perfect rating of the event, posted by 4 different gamers on a day that was arrange for scoring.
Koepka seized on that by stuffing a wedge to 4 ft on the second and third holes, and rolling in an 8-foot birdie down the hill on the par-5 fourth.
But he drove into the water on the sixth gap and did effectively to make bogey, and one other bogey from the tough on the seventh trimmed his result in Hovland to 1 shot.
Hovland pulled inside one shot once more with a 10-foot birdie on the thirteenth. Koepka answered with a driver he smashed over the steep bunkers and onto the perimeter on the reachable 14th, and after they made pars on the par-3 fifteenth.
Hovland hit 9-iron from the bunker on the sixteenth and will hear the terrible thud of it rocketing into the turf on the fringe of the sand. He knew instantly what occurred, lined his mouth with a closed fist. After a drop into nasty tough, it took two extra to get to the inexperienced.
“Brooks is a superb participant, and now he has 5 majors. I imply, that is a hell of a file proper there. It’s not simple going toe-to-toe with a man like that,” Hovland mentioned. “He isn’t going to offer you something, and I did not actually really feel like I gave him something both till 16.”
Bryson DeChambeau, who started the PGA with a 66, made too many errors in his spherical of 70. He caught round to clasp arms with Koepka, two gamers from LIV Golf who used to get below one another’s pores and skin.
LIV had three gamers within the prime 10 for the second straight main.
Koepka, who completed at 9-under 271, acquired $3.15 million and the heaviest trophy among the many 4 majors. Nothing felt extra beneficial than that.