LIV rebel Brooks Koepka bounced back from his self-confessed “choke” at the Masters to win his fifth Major title at a dramatic USPGA Championship.
And he handed Ryder Cup bosses a massive dilemma with his two shot victory from Scottie Scheffler, with a gallant Viktor Hovland in third – cursing a fatal error, when he blasted his ball from the sand into the face of a bunker at the 16th.
Brooks Koepka celebrates winning on the 18th green during the final round of the 2023 PGA Championship
Koepka and runner-up Viktor Hovland shake hands on the 18th green after the American wins
It is Koepka’s fifth Major title
Zach Johnson and his advisers now have to decide whether Koepka should get one of the American captain’s six picks for Rome in September.
The USA Ryder Cup team is the responsibility of the PGA of America, not the PGA Tour. So their ban on the LIV golfers does not apply to the4 Ryder Cup.
And the PGA of America top brass will not take too kindly if their champion golfer is kicking his heels at home while Zach Johnson’s team bids for a first victory on European soil for thirty years.
Especially when he has also finished runner-up at the Masters, where he admitted he stayed up all night cursing himself for his safety-first approach in the final round.
That allowed world No 1 Jon Rahm to wipe out Koepka’s two shot lead and snatch the green jacket from his grasp.
While he is at it, Zach Johnson should consider giving 46 year old PGA Professional Michael Block – the unlikely cult hero of this gripping Major championship – one of his six wild cards as well.
Block, who teed off alongside Rory McIlroy just six shots off the lead, earned the biggest roar of the week with a stunning hole in one at the 151 yards 15th hole.
His ball did not even touch the sides as it slam-dunked into the hole, with a disbelieving Block turning to McIlroy to ask: “Has it gone in? Straight in. Really!”.
Block was the only one of the 20 PGA professionals who qualified for this event through their own national championship to make the cut at Oak Hill.
He captured the hearts and imaginations of golf fans everywhere with the swashbuckling approach that saw him reel off three successive 70s, on a course playing brutally tough.
Block normally earns his living by giving £120 an hour lessons at Arroyo Trabuco, the public course in California where he has been the head professional for the last 19 years.
Sky Sports commentator Brad Faxon summed up his appeal, saying: “Just hear those crowds, They just love him. They’re all thinking he’s a working class guy, just like us.
“He could stand for president right now, and win by a landslide.”
And that was BEFORE his ace!
McIlroy hit a hole in one on the 15th
Jon Rahm in action on the ninth in the final round
That Blockbuster almost overshadowed a brilliant duel for the title between Koepka and Hovland.
After missing out at Augusta, Koepka vowed: “I’ll never make the same mistake again, I don’t mind getting beat – but not when I’m playing to not lose, rather than playing to win.”
There was no-pussy-footing this time, as he turned his one shot lead into a three shot advantage with a hat-trick of bogeys from the second hole.
At that stage it looked like ti would prove a walk in the park for Koepka, who has overcome recurring knee problems – and an £80millon switch to LIV – to recapture the form that brought him four Majors in quick succession from 2017-20019.
But playing partner Hovland, 25, refused to be intimidated. He made back-to-back birdies of his own at four and five to cut the deficit to two, and was only one behind before that cruel blow at the 16th, which cost him a double bogey.
The way his ball failed to clear the lip of the bunker was an exact replica of the fate suffered by Corey Conners when he was leading the tournament 24 hours earlier.
He did the same thing, from the same bunker!
But take nothing away from Koepka, whose . He really is a Major-winning machine, and in this mood he could strengthen his Ryder Cup place when he tees it up at the US Open and the Open in the next two months.
McIlroy finished on 69 and came seventh
Justin Rose’s one over par 71 dropped into a tie for ninth place
McIlroy’s own bid for a fifth Major never really got going, and by the end he seemed happy to hand the limelight to his new pal, Block, who earned a cool £230,000 for a share of 15th place – his biggest payday by a country mile..
McIlroy’s closing 69 gave him a share of seventh place, while Justin Rose’s one over par 71 dropped him into a tie for ninth place.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you improve your golf game in a matter of hours?
Practice 20 minutes per session, three times per week, to improve your ability to play golf. Consistent practice is key to playing well at tournaments. Practice makes perfect!
Is it possible to make money by playing golf
Absolutely! As a professional golfer, there are many ways to make additional income. You could offer lessons, sell merchandise, host tournaments, or even take part in celebrity events.
Does watching golf improve your game?
Yes, it does improve my game!
Golf is one the most well-known sports in the world. This sport involves striking a ball towards a target at different distances using sticks, clubs, and so on. It is a great way for people to unwind and enjoy some time outside. Did you know there are so many benefits to playing golf? These are just a few of the many benefits that golf can bring to your life.
- Golf helps you get fit
- Playing golf makes you feel good
- Playing doesn’t require you to think about too many things
- You learn patience by playing golf
- You can find inspiration from watching the game of golf
- Golf is a lot of fun
- It is very easy to learn how to play golf
- Golf is more expensive than other sporting activities
- Golf is an excellent stress reliever
- Golf is a social sport
What does an average golfer do?
The average golfer can shoot 80-85 yards along with their driver.
How can my golf score be reduced by five strokes
First, you need to improve your swing mechanics. While you might be proficient at holding the club correctly, your body will not feel the same way. Once you have mastered this step you will want to work on increasing your strength and flexibility. Begin slow and work your way up to faster distances. As you progress towards higher scores, your game will become more consistent.
What is the most crucial shot in golf
The most important shot for a golfer is the putt. You must have great skill to hit the ball accurately, or you could lose the hole.
- If you have 14 attempts and convert as little as 50% of them into Pars – you can double bogey the remaining 4 holes and still shoot 87 for your round. (golfmadesimple.com)
- Trackman found that over 65% of amateur’s golf shots finish short of the target from 160 yards. (golfinsideruk.com)
- Or that, on the greens, some 84% of putts over five feet also finish short of the hole? (todaysgolfer.co.uk)
- Shot Scope’s mapping data reveals 72% of danger is at the front of the green (sand or water), whereas there’s only 28% behind. (todaysgolfer.co.uk)
- By adding 10 more yards to all their golf shots amateurs will increase the percentage of greens they hit by 8 – 10%. (golfinsideruk.com)
Five easy ways to improve your golf swing
Golf is a popular sport worldwide. It requires a lot of practice to become a good golfer. The best way to improve your game is practicing. You should spend at least 2 hours per week playing golf. However, you don’t always find enough time to play golf. These five simple exercises can help you improve your golf swing.
- Start from the ground up – Stand straight, keep your back straight, hold your club properly, bend your knees slightly and start swinging the club. Concentrate on your target. This helps you to get in position before you hit the ball.
- Get your balance right – Make sure that you stand straight, keep your feet together, and make sure that your weight is evenly distributed throughout your body. Your weight should shift in the direction of the front leg as you hit onto the ball.
- Bend your knees- Place your hands on the hips to help you bend your knees. Now, take a deep breathe and exhale, while gently bending your knees. This will allow your lower body and legs to follow the swing of the club.
- Relax your shoulders. Instead, allow them to move as you swing the club. This will let you generate power, speed, and force without needing to exert too much force.
- Focus on your target – Concentrate on your target instead of looking down at the ball. Focus your gaze straight ahead on the area you want to hit it. Be aware that if the ball is in front of you, it will be difficult to see where you are wrong.