Brooks Koepka's LIV Golf truth after 'incredible' PGA Championship title
The American's superb feat answers many questions around the LIV Golf star.
Brooks Koepka has provided an emphatic response to many of his LIV Golf doubters after winning his third US PGA Championship to join an exclusive club. Koepka's final round 67 saw him clinch a fifth major title after finishing two shots ahead of Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler.
Koepka's triumph sees the 33-year-old cement his spot amongst the legends of golf, with only 12 players having won more major trophies in the history of men's golf. Koepka joins Seve Ballesteros, Byron Nelson and Australian Peter Thomson as men who have claimed five major championship triumphs.
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"I don't know the list of guys who have won five times but to be in those groups of names is absolutely incredible," Koepka said. "I'll be honest, it's something I'm not even sure I dreamed of it as a kid, that I was going to win this many."
By joining Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in having his name etched on the Wanamaker Trophy at least three times, Koepka also atoned for his self-confessed Masters "choke" and became the first LIV Golf player to win a major since last year's formation of the Saudi-backed league. Koepka had already gone some ways to dispelling the notion that the 54-hole, no-cut format of LIV Golf would leave players on the rebel circuit underprepared or not battle hardened enough to compete on golf's biggest stages.
Koepka's late collapse in the Masters - where he let a four-shot last-day lead slip by finishing runner-up to Jon Rahh at Augusta National - could have been viewed as evidence of that LIV Golf narrative. However, the American's incredible display at the PGA Championship has dispelled that myth as the 33-year-old became the first LIV Golf star to win one of the four majors since defecting to the PGA Tour's rival competition for a reported $100 million.
Amazing.. Long “LIV” Brooks Koepka.. PGA Champion.. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🤣🏆 https://t.co/dMiUkELG7c
— Michael (@oldangryfella) May 22, 2023
Koepka with the PGA tourney, partying with his LIV money! That is incredible stuff!!!! pic.twitter.com/d9P1Se7qFC
— Charles Koz (@PhilKoz7) May 22, 2023
That was a BIG win for Koepka and a HUGE for the LIV Tour #PGAChampionship #PGAChampionship2023
— Gravy, PhD (@1StephenGraves) May 22, 2023
Brooks Koepka reportedly earned $100 million to join LIV Golf — nearly triple his career PGA Tour earnings.
Today, one year later, Koepka just became the first LIV golfer to win a major tournament. pic.twitter.com/kSQcNv4tzz
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) May 21, 2023
Just 3 months ago Full Swing aired. All the talk on here was that Brooks Koepka was finished, washed up. The media had a field day.
Say hello to your 2023 PGA Champion. pic.twitter.com/SXrDPUZwfa
— LIV Golf Latest (@LIVGolfLatest) May 21, 2023
Brooks Koepka struggled to put into words what it meant to win his third US PGA Championship and fifth major title with the victory at Oak Hill. Koepka will climb from 44th to 13th in the updated standings and also moves into the automatic qualifying places for the United States Ryder Cup team.
The 33-year-old won his first four majors in the space of eight events, but suffered injuries and a loss of form before joining LIV Golf last year, having previously suggested those switching to the Saudi-funded circuit would be “selling out”. Koepka said of his triumph: "This is wild. When I look back at where we were two years ago I’m just so happy right now. I’m kind of at a loss for words. This is the coolest thing.
“This one is definitely a lot sweeter. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this one. Life has changed a lot for me but this one is super gratifying for me. I don’t know how many guys have won five times but to be in with those names is incredible. I’m not sure as I kid I even dreamed about doing it.
“I’m not trying to prove to anyone else that I can still play. I can still do it and I like the way things are starting to come together. I think when I’m healthy I think I’m back to where I was during that good stretch.”
Club pro Michael Block hits extraordinary hole-in-one
While Koepka rightfully dominated the headlines, one of the series of the day was the hole-in-one from club pro, Michael Block. The 46-year-old golf teacher had wowed fans over the first three rounds but saved his most memorable moment for the final day.
MICHAEL BLOCK CLUB PRO ACE pic.twitter.com/Kt4zYDw0RK
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) May 21, 2023
Stepping up to the par-three 15th hole, the loveable underdog had viewers in disbelief after an incredible ace with a pure iron to the 151-yard pin. The ball disappeared almost as soon as it hurtled towards the green, with an enormous crowd reaction providing the answer to a gobsmacked Block about whether it ended up in the hole.
Block finished with a one-over 71 in the final round to end up in tie for 15th that sees him punch a ticket onto next year’s PGA Championship at Kentucky's Valhalla Golf Club. He also received a sponsor exemption into next week’s event at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
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