Golf Rebel LIV Conquers First Major…Kepka PGA Championship Win
Major hunter Brooks Koepka caught his fifth game.
Koepka won the PGA Championship, a major men’s golf tournament, at Oak Hill Golf Course in Rochester, New York, on the 22nd (Korean time). Final round 3 under par 67 strokes, total 9 under par.
Koepka became the 20th player to win five majors. The PGA Championship recorded a third win following 2018 and 2019. Since the PGA Championship was changed to a stroke event, only Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Koepka have won three or more victories.
Koepka, who shot a 4-under-par 66 the previous day in bad weather, took the lead by 3 strokes with consecutive birdies in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes. However, Viktor Hovland, who played with him in the championship group, chased him by one stroke.
The match was decided on the 16th hole. Hovland recorded a double bogey as his shot from a fairway bunker got stuck in the chin of the bunker and was unable to escape. Koepka put his second shot to the pin for a birdie. The difference in the number of strokes widened to 4 strokes, and the game was virtually over.
Koepka’s win marked the first major win for a Saudi oil money-sponsored LIV player. Cameron Smith won the Open last year, but was playing on the PGA Tour at the time and switched boats shortly thereafter.
The PGA and PGA Tour didn’t seem to welcome Koepka’s win as a LIV player. The winning leaderboard came up later than usual. Cinderella Michael Block, who tied for 15th place as a club pro (lesson pro), was highlighted. The spotlight on the winner was less than usual.
Until early last year, Koepka said, “I will not go to LIV.” However, in June of last year, he suddenly left for LIV Golf. People regarded him as a traitor and a liar.
It is said that his knee hurt. Koepka’s injury worsened as he participated in the Masters in early 2021 after undergoing knee surgery and never fully recovered. It seems that his sore knee made it difficult for him to survive on the PGA Tour.
During the Masters last month, Koepka said, “I laugh about it now, but it was painful. His knee hurt and it took him 15 minutes to get out of bed, and he cried in a towel as the physiotherapist tried to bend his knee.” Koepka also said, “I think I am the one who knows best the pain of Tiger Woods, who injured his leg in a car accident.”
Koepka slowly recovered from LIV, which had fewer matches, and his health and skills returned. “I feel better since the beginning of this year,” he said. He had 2 wins at LIV. At the Masters held in April, he started the final round as a leader, but lost to John Rahm. Koepka, who he assessed as having collapsed from nervousness, did not say what it was, but said he came up with a workaround. Koepka did not lose his cool in this event, although he started with a final round lead.
Koepka is a very unusual player. He has only 4 general PGA Tour wins, but 5 majors. Major tournaments are much harder to win than regular tournaments.
All outstanding players participate, the course is difficult, and the pressure is heavy. There are many players who ended their careers without winning a major tournament, such as Matt Kucha, who won 9 wins in general tournaments on the PGA Tour, but has no major championships. Koepka is the opposite.
Koepka, who has thick thighs and broad shoulders from a lot of exercise, hits long shots that can conquer the battlefield of long major tournaments. Other players hit the 9-iron when they hit the 5-iron, so I can play in the rough without much difficulty.”
Sophisticated for a long hitter. Henrik Stenson said, “If the course is not difficult, Koepka’s long hitting and powerful skills may not stand out.”
Koepka began his professional career on the second division tour of Europe after his college graduation. He came back on a rougher road. Koepka said, “At that time, the things I learned while traveling around the world are giving me great strength.” Koepka entered the PGA Tour in 2015 at the age of 25. He showed that going fast isn’t necessarily good.메이저사이트
Hovland and Scotty Scheffler are tied for second at 7 under par. Schaeffler finished in the top 10 seven times in his last 11 majors. Rory McIlroy is tied for 7th at 2 under par.
LIV player Bryson DeChambeau is tied for 4th at 3-under par, and Cameron Smith is tied for 9th at 1-under par.