Koepka Wins PGA Championship – Brooks Koepka held off the furious fourth-round charges of Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler to take home the Professional Golfers Association Championship on Sunday at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. It was the third PGA Championship – and fifth major title – for the 33-year-old Koepka, who also made history by becoming the first LIV-affiliated player to win a major. Koepka’s win places him among the 20 winningest golfers in major history and more importantly, it was his first major victory since 2021 when he went under the knife to repair his knee. Koepka’s triumph gives the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf a milestone major win that the golf betting public expect to happen.
Koepka Wins PGA Championship: Koepka Tames Oak Hill
Koepka fired a 3-under-par 67 in the fourth and final round to finish the 72-hole tournament at 9-under 271. The final-round performance complemented with his earlier rounds of 72, 66 and 66. His solid play was enough to hold off Hovland and Scheffler in the back nine to emerge victorious. The American benefited from the crucial birdie that he sank in the 16th hole that moved him to 10-under and led by four shots. Hovland, on the other hand, faltered down the stretch as he made a double bogey. The 11th-ranked Norwegian plunked his ball into the bunker wall that wasted his chance of winning. And when Scheffler finished his round with a birdie for a 7-under 273 round, Koepka, who dropped a shot in the 17th after shooting a bogey, nailed his approach inside 10 feet at the 18th hole and two putted for par to annex the victory. Hovland settled for 2-under-par 68 for a 273 while Scheffler rallied with a 65 but fell short and settled for joint second.
Three Share 4th; McIlroy Settles for Joint 7th
Australian Cam Davis and Americans Kurt Kitayama and Bryson DeChambeau shared fourth on 277 with Davis and Kitayama carding 65s and LIV Golf mainstay DeChambeau shooting a 70. Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy (69) shared seventh on 278 with Austrian Sepp Straka (65). Justin Rose, Patrick Cantlay and Cameron Smith were in joint ninth at 1-under 279. Rose shot a 71 while Cantlay and Smith had a 66 and 65, respectively. Also making his presence felt was American club professional Michael Block who shot a hole in one in the par-3 15th hole. He settled for a 71 in the fourth round and finished tied for 15th on 281. Block, who earned a spot in next season’s PGA Tour with his impressive finish, shot the first ace by a club pro in a PGA since 1999.
Redemption for Koepka
Koepka’s victory earned him USD3.150 million and more importantly, it erased the doubts that lingered after his knee was repaired two years back. The American gave a convincing performance that nobody expected and kept his critics silent for now. The smashing performance in one of the most punishing golf courses in the world gives a warning that Koepka, who was given a +2000 line before the start of the PGA Championship, is back and is ready to win championships. The victory gave the American his third Wanamaker Trophy which moves him tied for fourth alongside Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead. He is behind Tiger Woods’ four and Jack Nicklaus’ and Walter Hagen’s five PGA Championship titles.
Scheffler’s Consolation Prize
Koepka Wins PGA Championship: Despite finishing joint second with Hovland, Scheffler recaptured the World No1 ranking from Jon Rahm in the Official World Golf Rankings. His performance in the PGA Championship moved him past Rahm, who finished tied for 50th at 7-over 287. He had a chance to overtake Koepka with his late charge in the final round but his lip-outs in the first and ninth holes proved costly for the American as it could have forced a playoff with Koepka if those attempts went in. Scheffler has been in a neck-and-neck fight with the Spaniard the whole year round. He lost it at the CJ Cup in October last year then reclaimed it in February by winning the WM Phoenix Open. Then the rankings changed hands the following week and Scheffler recaptured it from Rahm after his win in The Players Championship. Rahm surged back to World No1 with a win at the Masters.
US Open Next Up
Three weeks after the PGA Championship, the best golfers will take part in the US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Tee off is set on Thursday, June 15, and ends on Sunday, June 18. Just like the first two major tournaments, expect a lot of excitement in the third major of the year. Scheffler and Rahm will be the top players to beat, according to experts who focus on US Open picks and parlays, although attention will be given to other contenders like McIlroy and Koepka, as well as defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick. There will also be tons of golf action lined up in the following weeks and sports aficionados should be ready.