Brooks Koepka managed to shake off the challenge of Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler to claim his fifth major title at the PGA Championship in Oak Hill.
Koepka joins Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as a three-time PGA champion while Scheffler returns to world number one with a runner-up finish.
The former world number one never dropped out of first place during the final round and he becomes the first LIV player to win a major crown.
“It’s incredible. I look back to a couple of years ago and where I’m at now. To be able to be here is special. It means a hell of a lot more to me,” said Koepka.
“A lot of pain, physical pain. But I’m happy to be here. I’ve worked my butt off. Rick has worked his butt off. He has been there for me. He was there and basically baby-sat me during the whole surgery process and everything, so he is the man.
“It’s incredible. Someone said that there are maybe only 20 guys in the room on 5, so that’s pretty special. Hopefully I can just keep adding to it. It would be pretty cool.”
The American carded a three-under 67 to top the leaderboard on nine-under to win by two shots. Three birdies in a row from the 2nd capped off a quick start before back-to-back bogeys on 6 and 7 brought him back towards the pack. The back nine was a tussle with Hovland and then there was the added pressure of a late Scheffler rally but birdies at 14 and 16 kept the pair at arms length and Koepka could even afford a bogey on 17.
Koepka who is due to be a father soon spoke of learning from his Masters disappointment at the start of the week and he managed to go one better than his second place finish at Augusta.
“Yeah, it’s pretty special. The last few months have been truly special just for me, my family, and going forward now life is going to change a little bit for us, but it will be fun. I know Jena is looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to it. It will be a lot of fun.
I” just learned. I knew what I did in Augusta. Spent the whole night thinking about it. I knew what I did, and I knew I was never going to come out and do that again. Didn’t do that.
“I felt in control all day. To be honest with you, probably the one that was settling was the par-5, making birdie there. I feel like that was a good putt, and the other ones were 3, 4 feet. I think maybe going forward it helped build some momentum early.”
It’s Koepka’s first major title since 2019 and he admitted this one carries extra meaning.
“This is probably the sweetest one of them all just because of all the hard work that had to go into this one. It’s special.
“It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice. I think no one knows it more than probably than Ricky, my caddie. He was there during surgery. He has had his work cut out. Wasn’t seeing the results right away, and it was frustrating.”
Rory McIlroy settled for a share of seventh after his challenge faded on the front nine while Shane Lowry shared twelfth place on level-par after a final round of 69.
Padraig Harrington warmed up for the Senior PGA Championship with a final round 69 to crack the top-50.
Leave a comment