Sports Writing (USA), (EFE).- Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship this Sunday by signing a card of 67 strokes, with a final result of -9 and two impacts from distance on the Norwegian Viktor Hovland ( -7) and a Scottie Scheffler (-7) who snatched the world number one from Spanish Jon Rahm.
This is his third PGA Championship, after those he won in 2018 and 2019, and his fifth ‘big’, since he was also proclaimed champion of the United States Open in 2017 and 2018.
Koepka, the first golfer from the controversial Saudi LIV Golf to succeed in a ‘major’, also entered the select club of twenty that have at least five ‘big ones’. He tied legends like Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead with three PGA titles. Tiger Woods with four, as well as Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus, are still ahead.
Koepka was greeted emotionally at the Oak Hill course in Rochester. the ‘Wanamaker trophy’: “I’m so happy right now, I’m speechless, it’s just the best. And doing it in New York, which is like a second home to me, is a special place.”
The best cards of the day were signed with 65 shots by Australians Cam Davis and Cameron Smith, Austrian Sepp Straka and Americans Kurt Kitayama and Scottie Scheffler.
The latter had real chances of victory. Even his last ‘birdie’ at 18 put pressure on Koepka and Hovland, who were coming from behind. What Scheffler does take away is being the new number one in the world thanks to second place in the tournament.
Hovland’s ‘double-bogey’ on the 16th, locking himself in a bunker, ended up squandering his chances of victory and gave wings to a Koepka with a very solid and regular game, who also got another ‘birdie’ on that same hole for him – 10 that already led the two immediate pursuers by four shots.
The “Michael Block” Phenomenon
If there was a hero this week it was Michael Block, PGA instructor in California invited to the tournament and who not only made the cut but also competed at the level of the best on the planet and was the champion among non-professionals.
He was one of the entertainers of the tournament. Her connection with the public has been total, but she reserved the standing ovation for this Sunday, with an incredible hole-in-one in the fifteenth. The ball didn’t even bounce on the green: it fell right into the hole.
“I am living a dream. I’m making sure to enjoy this moment. I have learned that after my 46 years of life, there is not going to be anything better than this. It’s not possible. Everyone has been wonderful, very nice to me,” she said.
Block finished 15th in the final table and secures a place for the 2024 edition, but next week he will once again teach classes at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, in California, where he will surely have all his classes requested, which charges $125 for 45 minutes. .
Jon Rahm loses number one
Rahm closed his last round with 71 shots, one over par for the field, for a total of +7 that was far from expectations. He had an excellent start to the day with two ‘birdies’ in his first two holes, but he was penalized by three ‘bogeys’ in the second round at ten, seventeen and eighteen.
That putt that has given him so much success this season has been precisely his big problem in Oak Hill to be in a higher position. His 50th position, added to Scheffler’s second, make him lose the number one in the world.
“The good thing about this sport is that when you think you’re invincible it brings you back to Earth, it reminds you that this sport is continuous work and when you think you have it is when you stumble again, it keeps you humble,” Rahm said. .
His intention to win two ‘majors’ this season is delayed after Oak Hill, and he puts the next big challenge in mid-June when the US Open is played in Los Angeles.
Another Spaniard, Pablo Larrazábal, finished Sunday with a card of four strokes over par, the same result as on Saturday, for a cumulative score of +12 that places him in position number 65.
The Chilean Mito Pereira closed with 67 shots, 3 under par, recovered 15 positions to 18, with +2 in the overall balance.