Koepka savours 'sweetest' major win at PGA Championship

·3-min read

Brooks Koepka has been left "lost for words" after cementing his place among the legends of golf and striking a blow for the LIV breakaways with a third PGA Championship crown and fifth career major.

Koepka closed with a three-under-par 67 to convert a one-stroke overnight lead into a two-shot victory from fellow American and world No.2 Scottie Scheffler (65) and Norwegian Vicktor Hovland (68) at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

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.

He finished with a nine-under 271 total, two years after undergoing career-threatening knee surgery.

"This is incredible. This is wild," Koepka said.

"I look back at where we were two years ago, everything that has gone on. I'm just so happy right now. I'm kind of at a loss for words.

"This is just the coolest thing."

Australian Cam Davis and American Kurt Kitayama equalled the low round of the tournament with 65s to share fourth at three under with former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (70), to secure tickets to next year's Masters.

But the day belonged to Koepka.

It was only three months ago the former world No.1 aired his vulnerabilities and fears of never scaling the heights again, in the "Full Swing" Netflix series.

Koepka admitted to returning prematurely from his knee surgery in March, 2021, as he struggled to regain the form and confidence that propelled him to the 2017 and 2018 US Open titles and back-to-back PGA Championships in 2018 and 2019.

But, finally fit and healthy again, the 33-year-old signalled a resurgence with victory at the LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah last October.

Then he won LIV Golf Orlando last month before carrying the lead heading into the final round of the Masters.

He let a four-shot last-day lead slip at Augusta National with a defensive three-over 75 to allow world No.1 Jon Rahm to steal the green jacket.

Koepka vowed not to make the same mistake on Sunday at Oak Hill, and was true to his word.

After three days of mostly rain and cold, bright sunshine made for ideal scoring conditions and he was quick to take advantage with three birdies in his first four holes.

He stumbled briefly with successive bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes to have his lead trimmed back to one.

But it was all over on 16, when Hovland left his second shot in the bunker en route to a double bogey while Koepka made birdie to jump three clear again.

Koepka joins Seve Ballesteros, Byron Nelson and Australian Peter Thomson with five major championship triumphs.

Only 12 players have won more.

"This one is definitely a lot sweeter. There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this one," Koepka said.

"Life has changed a lot for me but this one is super gratifying for me. It's special.

"To be in those groups of names to have won five times is absolutely incredible, something I'm not even sure I dreamed of as a kid, that I was going to win this many.

"Hopefully I can just keep adding to it. It would be pretty cool."

His next chance comes at the US Open in Los Angeles from June 15-18 when Koepka can match the six-major hauls of Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino.