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US PGA Championship 2023: Brooks Koepka wins third title – as it happened

  • Brooks Koepka wins fifth major as Viktor Hovland suffers bunker blues
  • Club pro Michael Block makes fairytale hole in one
  • PGA Championship leaderboard
Mon 22 May 2023 09.00 AESTFirst published on Mon 22 May 2023 03.30 AEST
Brooks Koepka celebrates after winning the PGA Championship.
Brooks Koepka celebrates after winning the PGA Championship. Photograph: Abbie Parr/AP
Brooks Koepka celebrates after winning the PGA Championship. Photograph: Abbie Parr/AP

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Ewan Murray was at Oak Hill, and his verdict has landed. Congratulations to Brooks Koepka, commiserations to Viktor Hovland, and thanks to Michael Block for writing a fairytale for the ages. Thanks to you too for reading these live hole-by-hole reports. Nighty night.

-9: Brooks Koepka
-7: Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland
-3: Cam Davis, Kurt Kitayama, Bryson DeChambeau
-2: Sepp Straka, Rory McIlroy
-1: Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Rose
E: Shane Lowry, Victor Perez, Corey Conners
+1: Tyrrell Hatton, Eric Cole, Michael Block
+2: Mito Pereira, Xander Schauffele, Min Woo Lee, Patrick Reed, Tommy Fleetwood

The presentation of the Wanamaker Trophy. The crowd welcome the 2023 PGA Champion, Brooks Koepka. He hoists the outsized cup into the air. Lucky he lifts. “This is incredible … this is wild … I’m just so happy right now … this is just the coolest thing … I don’t know the list of how many guys have won five times but to be with that group of names is incredible … to be honest I’m not sure I dreamed of it as a kid, winning this many … I’m just happy to do it in front of these New York fans …. I love you guys! … we got three majors in New York so it’s been a second home to me, pretty special … Oak Hill has been phenomenal!”

The presentation of the Wanamaker Trophy coming up … but beforehand, there’s the presentation to Michael Block, the low club professional for the 2023 PGA Championship. He raises his PGA-engraved vase in the air to wild cheering. “It hasn’t sunk in yet to be honest,” says Block. “It’s pretty cool.”

This is Brooks Koepka’s fifth major title. One more now than Rory McIlroy … who stops to give him a hug and, with a genuine smile, say “I’m really happy for you.” A class act. Anyway, a fifth major puts Koepka alongside some big names in golfing history: John Henry Taylor, James Braid, Byron Nelson, Peter Thomson and Seve. More elite company!

The final leaderboard

-9: Brooks Koepka
-7: Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland
-3: Cam Davis, Kurt Kitayama, Bryson DeChambeau
-2: Sepp Straka, Rory McIlroy
-1: Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Rose
E: Shane Lowry, Victor Perez, Corey Conners
+1: Tyrrell Hatton, Eric Cole, Michael Block
+2: Mito Pereira, Xander Schauffele, Min Woo Lee, Patrick Reed, Tommy Fleetwood

Koepka becomes only the third man in the match-play era to win three PGA Championships. As for the all-time list, look at this!

5: Walter Hagen, Jack Nicklaus
4: Tiger Woods
3: Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Brooks Koepka

That is not bad company to be keeping.

Brooks Koepka wins his third PGA Championship!

Brooks likes fast play, so he doesn’t faff about. His birdie putt doesn’t drop, but does he care? Nope! He taps in, then punches the air: “Yes! Yes!” He embraces his caddy, commiserates with Hovland, and flings his ball into the gallery. “Hell yeah! Let’s go! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

-9: Koepka
-7: Scheffler, Hovland

Brooks Koepka on the green after winning the PGA Championship.
Brooks Koepka on the green after winning the PGA Championship. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP

This final round has already served up several memorable moments, and here’s another! Viktor Hovland pours in his left-to-right curler for birdie, and though his smile is bittersweet right now, that means he’ll have a share of second place. It would have been heartbreaking for him to finish third after all of his efforts. A 68 and he ends the week at -7.

Viktor Hovland stripes one down 18. Brooks Koepka follows. Hovland knocks his second to 20 feet. Koepka pings his pin high to six feet … then walks up to receive the sort of reception his talent deserves. Love pouring down from the gallery. It’s a long way from the boos on the 1st tee box yesterday!

Block then points out another advantage of his automatic qualification next year. “It gives another PGA professional a spot, because I’m an exempt, so I’ve got another guy in, which is rad to me.” What a gentleman! Is it raining in your face too?

Michael Block speaks to Sky Sports. “My game came to Rochester which is really cool … I played my normal game … I’ve never done it for four rounds before but finally I’ve done it and that’s off my check-off list … I did not see the hole-in-one go in … I thought it may be pretty close … then Rory turns around and said ‘that went in the hole!’ … I said ‘you gotta be kidding me’ … I had no idea … zero clue … why is Rory hugging me?! … you don’t hug me for hitting it close, so then I thought ‘I think I made it!’ … for me to go back [to Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club] will be a very special thing … the money is going to be fun and great to have for my family, but I didn’t do this for the money … I’m going to go home, the happiest guy in the world!”

Hovland does extremely well to get up and down from the rough, 100 yards out. Par, while Koepka takes two calm putts for a bogey. Barring a strange meltdown, he’s one hole away from his third PGA Championship title!

-9: Koepka (17)
-7: Scheffler (F)
-6: Hovland (17)

Rory talks to Sky. “I feel sort of close but also so far away at the same time, it’s a really weird feeling … I know I need to be better.”

Wild tee shots at 17. Brooks right, Hovland left. Hovland can only hack his second further up the rough. Brooks takes his medicine and chips out. Meanwhile up on 18, Scottie Scheffler makes birdie and signs for a 65. He’s the new clubhouse leader at -7 … and with Koepka now more likely than not to bogey 17, this isn’t quite over yet. It’s nearly over. But not quite.

-10: Koepka (16)
-7: Scheffler (F)
-6: Hovland (16)

Here’s what Michael Block gets for his 70-70-70-71. He qualifies for next year’s PGA Championship. He’s earned nearly $300,000. He’s got stories to tell for the rest of his life. “You made it great,” he tells Rory McIlroy in the scorer’s hut. Then he sweetly asks someone to take a picture of him with McIlroy. A fan as well as a fantastic player.

Two putts for Viktor Hovland at 16. A double-bogey six, and he walks off knowing this is over. Brooks Koepka tidies up for his birdie. His second shot there was outstanding, worthy of winning any tournament … but Hovland’s bunker fiasco will provide the defining images.

-10: Koepka (16)
-6: Scheffler (17), Hovland (16)

Michael Block cards 71!

Michael Block sends his par putt straight at the cup. The ball threatens to stop on the edge, but it’s such a tease and it finally drops. The gallery erupts! They won’t get any louder when the winner is identified. Rory McIlroy smiles the widest smile and throws open his arms as he embraces the slightly disbelieving club professional. Block puts one hand on his heart, points at his new fans, spins around to acknowledge them all, and then gives his partner a hug. A 71 and a +1 finish. Unbelievable. A proper golfing fairytale! (Par meanwhile for Rory and a 69. He’s -2. Another near miss, but despite his disappointment, he’s clearly enjoyed Block’s company today.)

Meanwhile back on 16, a sequence unfolds that has probably decided the destiny of the Wanamaker Trophy. Hovland drops on the bank, taking his medicine by punching out into the fairway. He’s hit four, and then Koepka lashes his second to a couple of feet. That’s some proper carpe-diem golf! Hovland sends his approach straight at the flag, but he’ll be aware the jig is nearly up.

Viktor Hovland of Norway fails to get his ball out of the bunker on the 16th hole.
Viktor Hovland of Norway fails to get his ball out of the bunker on the 16th hole. Photograph: Eric Gay/AP

Up on 18, Michael Block sends his drive into rough down the right, then his second into the gallery to the left of the green. But he’s got a good lie, and he wedges crisply up the bank, over the bunker, and softly onto the green. He’ll have a ten-foot look to save par!

Hovland does exactly the same thing Conners did yesterday! He slams his iron straight into the bank, where it plugs. This is almost a frame-for-frame retelling of last night! Hovland looks ahead at his buried ball, aghast, and smiles the wryest smile of his life. He knows that could have cost him the PGA Championship; Connors ran up a double bogey yesterday. Here comes the referee to sort out where he can drop. Sport can be so, so strange sometimes. And so very, very cruel.

Viktor Hovland sends his drive at 16 into the bunker Corey Conners had so much trouble with yesterday evening. Brooks Koepka’s tee shot flies that bunker but ends up in the rough. Up on 17, Scottie Scheffler finds the green in regulation but he’s a long way from the flag. Not ideal when he’s desperate for birdies.

The crowd goes wild for Michael Block again, this time at 17. That’s after his getting down from 100 yards to scramble a par. He remains at +1. One final birdie, and he’ll be signing for his fourth round of 70. Golfing gods, make it happen!

Par for Rory (-2).

Koepka putts first. A gentle left-to-right slider. It doesn’t quite get there, and it was always destined to miss on the right, but he’s happy enough to tap home for par. Hovland’s takes a similar route, and he makes do with par as well. Meanwhile up on 16, Scheffler hits an uphill 20-foot birdie putt that never looks like dropping. Par. As you all were, then … except the leader Brooks Koepka is one hole closer to home!

-9: Koepka (15)
-8: Hovland (15)
-6: Scheffler (16)

To Block’s hole. Hovland sends his tee shot pin high, but a good 30 feet to the left. Koepka follows him there, a couple of feet further left. He’ll give Hovland a read. Meanwhile on 16, there’s the inevitable comedown for Michael Block, whose drive finds thick rough. His second flies through the back, and though he gives himself half a chance of saving par with a neat lob from the bottom of a swale, it’s a bogey. He drops to +1, but he’ll always have the 15th. He’ll always have Oak Hill.

Koepka sends a slightly clumsy putt four feet past the hole. In mitigation, he was putting through the fringe with his feet slightly down the bank. Hovland then pours in his birdie putt; that was far from a certainty. He’s refusing to allow Koepka to shake him off. Koepka makes his birdie, but not for the first time today, Hovland will be walking off a hole happy to have equalled his opponent’s score despite tee shots of vastly differing quality.

-9: Koepka (14)
-8: Hovland (14)
-6: Scheffler (15)

Brooks Koepka launches a driver at 14 onto the green. His ball thinks about toppling off, but stops on the fringe, and he’ll have a look at eagle from 20 feet or so. Viktor Hovland’s tee shot sits on the bank, from where he chips to eight feet. Meanwhile Scottie Scheffler, having parred Michael Block’s hole, crashes a drive down the middle of 16.

A birdie blitz! Corey Conners, who had fallen off the radar after bogeys at 12 and 13, rattles in a long putt on 14 to return to -2. Justin Rose sinks a tramliner on 15 to return to -2. Bryson DeChambeau follows Conners in from a much shorter distance to rise to -3. “That was a proper hole in one,” writes Adam Hirst of Michael Block’s moment of history. “The only one that I’ve ever seen. In without even a bounce, that’s how it should be done, none of that rolling around the green nonsense. Thing of absolute beauty.”

It. Is. All. Happening. Brooks Koepka elects to putt from the apron at 13. He sends his effort four feet past. A nerve-jangler. Viktor Hovland turns up the pressure by making his birdie putt. Koepka responds by rattling in the par saver. Meanwhile up on 14, Scottie Scheffler makes his birdie to stay on the leaders’ tail. (Bogey for Rory McIlroy on 15, by the way, in non-Michael-Block-related news.)

-8: Koepka (13)
-7: Hovland (13)
-6: Scheffler (14)
-3: Davis (F), Kitayama (F)
-2: Straka (F), Perez (16), McIlroy (15), DeChambeau (13)

… so while that bedlam was unfolding, Scottie Scheffler hit the flagstick at 13 before tapping home for birdie. He’s -5. Coming behind, Viktor Hovland sends his second down the middle of the fairway, then chips to 12 feet. Brooks Koepka’s wedge spins back off the front of the green, and everything feels a little psychedelic right now. Golf: bloody hell!

Hole in one for Michael Block!

As if the 46-year-old club pro’s story wasn’t enough of a fairytale! He sends a 7-iron from 151 yards into the par-three 15th … and his ball disappears straight into the cup! No bounce, no roll, straight into the hole without touching the sides! The crowd go ballistic, but he can’t quite process what’s happened. “Did that go in?” he asks Rory McIlroy. It takes him a while to realise he’s just aced in the most sensational manner! “No! No! No way!” Rory congratulates him warmly … then the showman in Block comes out as he writes and circles the figure 1 on his scorecard for the benefit of the CBS cameras! (“You ready for this one?!”) That truly is a moment for the ages. He’s level par!

Michael Block celebrates after his hole-in-one on the 15th.
Michael Block celebrates after his hole-in-one on the 15th. Photograph: Abbie Parr/AP

Koepka pings his drive at the long par-five 13th down the right-hand side of the fairway. Hovland pulls his viciously to the left, and the ball looks to be heading towards some concession tents. But it hits a tree and pings back into the rough. He’ll have lost plenty of distance but that’s something of a break for Hovland. But never mind that, because …

A big mistake by Rory McIlroy on 14. He drives into a bunker at the front, then splashes six feet past the flag. He gets a read from his playing partner Michael Block, whose putt from almost exactly the same spot breaks to the right. But Rory learns nothing, and his putt does exactly the same thing. Just a par on a hole where some players have been making eagle. Birdie, the more realistic goal, was necessary, though, given the state of play. He then sends his tee shot at 15 down the swale to the right of the par-three, and you’d have to say his race is run. He’s -3.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 14th tee.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 14th tee. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Scottie Scheffler very nearly seriously shakes things up on 13, where he’s this close to holing out for eagle. A wedge in from 80 yards lands ten feet past the flag then spins back, almost shaving the lip. He’s happy enough with birdie, though, and he’s just two back at -5. Er, hold on, scrub that, make it three back, because on 12, Brooks Koepka makes birdie in the fuss-free fashion, wedging to ten feet and pouring in the putt. Viktor Hovland can’t match him from similar distance, and that’s a huge match-play style swing.

-8: Koepka (12)
-6: Hovland (12)
-4: Scheffler (12)

Bogeys for Bryson DeChambeau and Corey Conners on the short par-four 12th. Both punished for errant drives. Both drop to -2. Both walk off with the air of men who know that, unless something wild and wonderful is about to happen, the jig is almost certainly up.

Here comes another one of those too-little, too-late charges by Rory McIlroy! Two big bashes down 13 followed by a wedge to five feet, and it’s another birdie. He rises to -3, and yes that bold text is deliberately designed to tempt fate. Meanwhile back on 11, Brooks Koepka powers a magnificent shot out of the bunker, where he’s right up against the lip, to 12 feet. No idea how he managed to get that as close as he did! But he can’t make the par saver, which lips out on the left. A two-putt par for Hovland, and the gap at the top is once again just the one. Meanwhile par at the last for Kurt Kitayama, and he’s the latest player to shoot 65 today. He joins Cam Davis in the clubhouse lead.

-7: Koepka (11)
-6: Hovland (11)
-4: Scheffler (12)
-3: Davis (F), Kitayama (F), McIlroy (13), DeChambeau (11), Conners (11)

The monster par-three 11th is playing at 246 yards today. Brooks Koepka draws a 4-iron … and his ball dunks in the bunker front left. He’s right up against the face. Viktor Hovland elects to use a 3-iron instead, and finds the heart of the green. Koepka should be able to get his ball up and out, but how far he’ll be able to advance it is another issue altogether.

Cam Davis cards 65

Cam Davis leaves a straight birdie putt on 18 one turn short. But he’s still signing for a final round of 65, matching the feats of Cameron Smith and Sepp Straka, and installing him as the new clubhouse leader at -3.

Hovland gives his birdie effort a good run. For a while it looks like heading in, dead straight, but there’s a little right-hand turn at the end and it slides by. He smiles wryly, knowing exactly what’s about to happen. Koepka rolls in his putt for birdie, opening up a two-stroke lead, and perhaps more importantly steadying a ship that was listing ever so slightly. What moxie!

-8: Koepka (10)
-6: Hovland (10)

Brooks Koepka has been shaky for the last hour or so. But on 10 he sends in a steadier. A wedge clipped from 140 yards to six feet. By contrast, Viktor Hovland’s pin-high effort, 25 feet wide left, is distinctly average. A big chance here for Brooks to open up a cushion again at the top.

OK, so the last group has hit the turn on Sunday. That being the case … welcome to the start of the 2023 PGA Championship! Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland both hit fine drives down 10. Meanwhile a big birdie for Cam Davis on 17, reward for sending his second from 180 yards to ten feet. Back-to-back bogeys for Justin Rose, though, at 10 and 11, and at -1 his race is surely run.

-7: Koepka (9)
-6: Hovland (9)
-4: Scheffler (11)
-3: Davis (17), Kitayama (16), Conners (10), DeChambeau (10)
-2: Straka (F), Perez (13), McIlroy (12)

Viktor Hovland’s Achilles heel used to be his chipping. No longer, not today. Magical chips at 1 and 8, and now another at 9. He drops his club gently on the ball, allowing it to dink out of the rough and land softly on the green, where it works its way down towards the hole. Three feet away, and he’s even left himself an uphill par saver. In it goes, and this is some really entertaining street-fighting golf. A two-putt par for Brooks, and here’s how they hit the turn …

-7: Koepka (9)
-6: Hovland (9)

A big break for Brooks, who does indeed find himself with a decent trodden-down lie. It allows him to power an 8-iron into the front of the green, though he’ll have a long putt for birdie. Hovland then flies a 7-iron over the green. He’ll have a tricky chip back from thick rubbish, and downhill to boot, in the trademark Donald Ross style. Meanwhile a bounce-back birdie for Scottie Scheffler at 10, where Justin Rose yips a tiddler to drop a stroke, while Sepp Straka matches Cam Smith’s 65 to take the clubhouse lead.

-7: Koepka (8)
-6: Hovland (8)
-4: Scheffler (10), DeChambeau (9)
-3: Kitayama (15), Conners (9)
-2: Straka (F), Davis (16), Perez (12), McIlroy (11), Rose (10)

Are those Confidence Demons beginning to bother Brooks Koepka again? Two bogeys followed by a very conservatively played par, and now he’s sent his tee shot at 9 into the gallery down the left. A fair chance he’ll get a decent lie given it’s where the punters have been perched all week. Meanwhile Viktor Hovland splits the fairway. Up ahead, Scottie Scheffler bogeys the hole, the punishment for an errant drive. A warning for Brooks perhaps. Scheffler drops to -3.

Tyrrell Hatton signs for a 67. He ends the week at +1, and that opening round of 77 – specifically that front nine of 42 – may give him nightmares for a while. He’d have been right in the mix otherwise.

Back-to-back birdies for Rory McIlroy. He wedges his approach at 10 to six feet and rolls in the putt. He moves to -2, just five off the lead. Back on 8, Viktor Hovland again finds deep rough from the tee. He powers his second towards the green, but the ball topples into the thick stuff around the fringe. He’s not got a lot of green to work with, but fashions a lovely little dink that nearly drops for an outrageous birdie. He’ll happily take that par, though, and remains at -6. A garden-variety par for Brooks Koepka, meanwhile, to stem the bleeding. He avoids a third consecutive bogey to stay one clear at -7.

News of Michael Block. The club pro hits the turn in 37, having bogeyed 1 and 7 en route. He’s +2 and going along very nicely. Meanwhile back on 8, Bryson DeChambeau, having dropped a stroke at 7, makes bounce-back birdie to return to -4.

You wait ages for a second eagle of the week at the short par-four 14th … then a third comes along in the London-bus style. Cam Davis whistles a stunning tee shot straight at the flag, a dart to seven feet, and in goes the putt. The 28-year-old Aussie, who tied for sixth at the Players a couple of months ago, moves to -2.

Viktor Hovland hoicks a driving iron into the filth down the right of 7. Brooks Koepka splits the fairway. But then he inexplicably sends his approach wide right of the green. He’s left with an awkward shot, feet in a bunker, ball above him on a bank. His chip on is weak and he’s left with a 40-foot putt for his par. He can’t make it, and that’s a bogey. Meanwhile Hovland was forced to take his medicine and hack out of the rough. He sends his third into the heart of the green, giving himself half a chance of scrambling par from 20 feet. He can’t make it, but he’d have taken this outcome after those tee shots. Koepka lets his opponent off with a big one there.

-7: Koepka (7)
-6: Hovland (7)
-4: Scheffler (8)
-3: Rose (8), DeChambeau (7)

Scottie Scheffler and Justin Rose pepper the flag at 8 … but only Scheffler is able to make the short birdie putt he’s left with. He rises to -4 while Rose stays stuck at -3 having lipped out. Another birdie for Kurt Kitayama, this time at 13, where he nearly holed out from 120 yards for eagle. He’s -3. And birdie for Rory McIlroy at 9 … but he’d dropped a stroke at 7 and so turns in level-par 35. He’s -1 after an erratic front nine.

Cameron Smith shoots 65

Cameron Smith nails a 15-foot par saver on the last, and he smiles warmly as he shakes hands on a best-of-week 65. The Open champion is the new clubhouse leader at -1.

Cameron Smith of Australia chips to the 18th green.
Cameron Smith of Australia chips to the 18th green. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

Patrick Cantlay crashes his tee shot at the risk-and-reward short par-four 14th onto the right-hand fringe of the green. He then drains a 40-foot putt for only the second eagle of the week on this hole! He rises to -1. Bogey for Cameron Smith on 17, meanwhile, though he’s still on course for a best-of-week 65 should he par the last.

Hovland splashes out of the bunker but leaves himself a tricky ten-footer for par. Koepka lags up from distance and will escape with bogey. A big putt for Hovland, then, who won’t want to match Koepka’s score having hit a perfect 3-wood from the tee while his opponent found the reeds. So there’s a spring in his step when he rams the putt into the centre of the cup and plucks the ball back out. A huge par, and the lead is suddenly just one.

-8: Koepka (5)
-7: Hovland (5)
-4: DeChambeau (6), Conners (6)

A late charge up the leaderboard by Sepp Straka. Birdies at 10, 13, 14 and now 15, and the 30-year-old Austrian is -3. Victor Perez meanwhile responds to those back-to-back bogeys with birdie at 9. He’s out in 32 and -2 overall. And Scottie Scheffler finally makes a putt; his first birdie of the day, at 7, moves him up to -3.

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