Brooks Koepka reappears in all his glory. As if he had taken back the time machine to 2017-2019 when he won four big Hora captured the PGA Championship and won his fifth career major, as a disastrous golfer and with a decidedly cocky air to enhance his legend. No one dominated like him on the extremely tough par 70 at Oak Hill in Rochester, New York, which demanded the maximum from the players during four days of great mental exhaustion and many scores through the roof.
Koepka, who shot a final round of 67 (-3) and posted an overall of 271 (-9), sends a strong message to the golf world as he is part of the LIV circuit and refutes the idea that he is part of the Arab League. are members of. are out of shape due to their tournaments on a calendar made up of no qualifying cuts and a small number of participants. At least the West Palm Beach, Florida-born North American, who has already recovered from his injuries and his emotional ups and downs, showed he is still fully on the level of any PGA Tour star. , even if its weather is more relaxed.
“It’s incredible and special, if you think about where I was just two years ago. I don’t know how many players have won five majors,” said the 33-year-old champion. The presenter immediately dispelled doubts: “Only 20 players have held five or more major tournaments…”.
Koepka’s track record is impressive considering two things: Among active golfers, Ollo is behind Tiger Woods (15) and Phil Mickelson (6) in terms of most winners. Also, it was his ninth title on the PGA Tour, with which he won more majors than regular tournaments.
He won the final round by being in control, but it all came to an end when his immediate follower, Victor Hovland, bogeyed a second shot on the 16th hole – the ball hit a bunker wall – and made a par. . , In the end, he defeated the Norwegian and Scotty Scheffler by two, regaining the world No. 1. And so, he won his third PGA Championship, adding to the two US Opens that shine in his showcase.
Hurt and rage
To understand this new reality, you have to look back into your recent past. In April 2022, Koepka’s drive home from Augusta National was filled with fury. Angered at missing the cut, he could not stand himself; He lived a bitter farewell, well-patented in the Netflix series “Full Swing.” So much annoyance led him to resort to animal instinct: “I don’t even know if I should say this or not, but I tried to smash the back window of my truck with my fist, I smashed it through the window twice. Tried to put on,” she confessed. “It didn’t work the first time, so I thought I’d try again. I felt very depressed last year; I was very upset. But I’ve come a long way since then and a lot of it has to do with my health.” Was.”
Koepka hesitated before sharing that story with the press, though he ended up smiling when he decided to tell the details: “My punch wasn’t strong enough to break the glass. I think the Mercedes is a very nice hatchback.” cooks,” she joked.
Brooks Koepka’s shot on the 18th hole of the green with all authority after missing the last Masters – Credit: @ANDY LYONS
His sporting test began in March 2021 following a fatal domestic situation. “I slipped in my house. I dislocated my knee and then tried to put it back on and that’s when I tore my patella and tore my medial patellofemoral ligament in the process,” he described. And he added a chilling image: “My The leg was twisted. My leg was twisted, and when I put it back in because the knee cap was already broken, it went in quite nicely. It was so easy!”
After that crash, not only did he play three weeks later in the 2021 Masters where he didn’t make the cut, but he did it again and again, even reaching the final group of the PGA Championship. Despite basically playing many tournaments on one leg, unable to bear weight on his right side, he worked his way into the top six in the final three majors that year.
Victor Hovland missed his chance to win the title with a mistake in the 16th hole bunker – Credit: @ANDY LYONS
He eventually underwent knee surgery from Neil L. Atraché, a world-renowned surgeon who has operated on other top athletes such as Tom Brady and Kobe Bryant. But even after getting his knee cleaned up, Koepka admitted his body wasn’t the same, leading to bad habits and growing discomfort from feeling so constrained. After surgery there was more pain, more rehabs, and more missed tournaments.
his quality of life decreased; Often he needed 15 minutes to go in the morning. The therapy sessions became part of his daily routine. Pain reverberated through his body every time he bent down to read a poem. So it was easy for him to make the decision to leave the PGA Tour for the LIV Golf Series, which has little demand. But that decision had a cost: while at the Masters last year he was ranked No. 16 in the world; Prior to participating in the previous event, he had already dropped to 118th place due to his inactivity and exclusion from LIV, whose tournaments do not give points for the list.
Koepka’s celebration on the 18th green: his fifth major – Credit: @KEVIN C. COX
The limited schedule he played on the Greg Norman Circuit, which avoids playing in the same weeks as the big PGA Tour tournaments, really helped him recover. A win in Orlando, which he accomplished in April this year, boosted his confidence. “It’s been a battle just to get back to feeling good,” he admitted.
What never changed in Koepka was his ability to be active with a special switch in weeks that coincided with the majors. In fact, his approach in the last Masters 2023 was perfect, but it lasted 54 holes. He admitted that on the last lap he “came out not to lose” and that was why he was so hesitant in that bid with Spaniard Jon Rahm that eventually took the green jacket. Now at Oak Hill this great achievement is helping to further improve its reputation and relaunch it.
Michael block, great character
In parallel with Brooks Koepka’s great win, the big story of the week was starring Michael Block, the club professional who finished tied for 15th at the PGA Championship and earned the right to participate in next year’s major, which will be held at Valhalla Golf. Club, Louisville.
Block used a final lap of 71 (+1) and a total of 281 (+1). But that round included the championship’s most impressive moment: a hole-in-one he took on a par-3 of 15. His ball traces a parabola and goes straight into the cup, a moment that sparked a huge roar in Rochester.
This Sunday, Block – whose wife is Argento – shared the opening with Rory McIlroy. “Really?” said the professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Southern California, when he was informed of the pairing. “It’ll be fun, we’ll have a good time.” He asked himself the same question from the 15th tee, when he saw the public shouting and cheering him: “Did the ball really go in?”
Block, who appeared to be one stroke off the edge in the tournament a section, entered this major thanks to a second-place finish at the PGA Professional Championship, a qualifier that spawns 20 club professionals.