Brooks Koepka is on his way to a fifth major championship


Brooks Koepka celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.  (Michael Reeves / Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. (Michael Reeves / Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka’s 2023 PGA Championship began 36 days ago, when he tried to go to bed after his second-place finish at the Masters. He went into the final round in Augusta with a 2-shot lead over John Rahm, only to have a chance at the green jacket with a 3-on-75.

He didn’t sleep that night. Instead, think about what went wrong.

“That’s the whole point, right? You’re not trying to dwell on it,” he said last week. “Yeah, it’s fun to be second, but at the same time, as long as you learn from it, you’ll be fine.”

Obviously he learned from it.

For the second major in a row, Koepka led in the final round. Only this time, he wouldn’t cough it up, not even in the face of an extreme challenge from NorwayVictor Hovland, and never too late Mr. Consistent, Scotty Scheffler.

Three birdies on his first four holes set the stage for what will not be a repeat of the Masters for Koepka. Hovland nearly matched him for a birdie, taking five leaves. The problem for the Norwegian was that Kopka was down in seven.

the The end came for Hovland on the 16th when he dug his shot from the Fairway bunker straight into the face of the turf in front of him. It was an eerily similar shot, from roughly the same spot, to the one that caught Corey Conners off the lead some 24 hours earlier.

Hovland would double bogey, Koepka was birdie, the lead would swell from one to four, and Wanamaker Trophy would be Koepka.

It’s Koepka’s third PGA Championship victory and his fifth major. That ties him with game legends like Byron Nelson and Saif Ballesteros, and gives him one big win behind Phil Mickelson.

Hovland and Scheffler finished tied for second, one stroke back.

This year’s PGA Championship started without one of the greatest players the tournament has ever seen. Tiger Woods sat out the 105th edition while continuing to rehabilitate his injured ankle, a sideline that becomes indefinite by the day.

When the tournament really started, it was reliever Bryson Dechambeau who led the field after the first round. Seeing DeChambeau de-Hulked for the first time since Augusta probably came as a bit of a shock, and so did he. DeChambeau hasn’t done justice since joining the LIV Golf Tour, but Thursday looked like his old bombs still firing, only this time with a bit more control.

He would not have won the tournament, but his fourth-place result is his best at a major since winning the 2020 US Open.

The exhilarating story of heroism came courtesy of the Michael Block, a pro club from Southern California, who on Friday moved himself into second place. Block estimates he hits about a bucket of balls a week, however he was hitting world number one John Ramm. After three consecutive rounds of even 70, Block was paired with Rory McIlroy for the final round. Then things got really crazy.

At the 151-yard, par 3 15th, Block dipped his tee straight into the cup for a hole-in-one like no other. The crowd went wild as Block got a five and a hug from McIlroy.

The fireworks still haven’t been done with the 46-year-old Block, who needed to finish 15th or better to qualify for next year’s PGA Championship. Anything less, and he’ll have to qualify by qualifying, as he’s done five times before. After making a mess on the 18th hole, he needed to sink eight feet for par to finish in 15th place. He drained it, the crowd went wild and McIlroy returned for another hug.

“I’m living the dream,” Block said after his tour. “I’m making sure I’m enjoying the moment. I’ve learned that after 46 years of my life it’s not going to get any better than this. There’s no way. There’s no chance in hell. So I’m going to enjoy this, and thank you.”

In the end the moment was conceded to Koepka.

Only a few months had passed when the second episode of the Netflix golf documentary “Full Swing” told the story of Koepka, who had been beset by bad luck and depression. Viewers were wondering if the master killer was just done killing the big bucks, but absolutely, with nothing left to do with his game but to collect the LIV Golf payroll.

Well, in two majors this season, Koepka has had second-place finishes and now he’s triumphant.

The master killer is back and he’s hungry for more.


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