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May 23rd, 2023

Brooks Koepka Wins PGA Championship

Michael Block wins hearts

Brooks Koepka Claims Victory at the 2023 PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka earns fifth career major championship title and third PGA Championship victory while Michael Block records the best finish by PGA professional since 1986 to guarantee a spot in 2024 PGA Championship.

The American claimed a two-shot victory over Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland at Oak Hill, securing his fifth major win, which also makes him the first player to win a major since joining LIV.

Predictably there was a overindulgence in celebration on social media from some of those associated with LIV golf.

Greg Norman congratulates Brooks on his victory.

Poulter perhaps having a slight dig at the LIV Golf Naysayers.

However, Koepka's victory had nothing to do with LIV Golf or even the PGA. It was all down to the talent and resilience of a gifted golfer, who has overcome his ongoing injury problems, and elevated his name to be up there with some of the games greatest.

Koepka said his win "is a huge thing and helps LIV" but said he was "more interested in my own self".
"I'm out here competing as an individual. I'm just happy to take this home for the third time," he added.

It has been well documented that had Brooks not of suffered his injury woes  and fitness problems from 2019 to 2021, that he may have not even considered joining LIV. Injuries including horrific damage to his right knee a couple of years ago "I just slipped. I was at home," he recently said.
"I dislocated my knee and then I tried to put it back in and that's when I shattered my kneecap. My leg was sideways and out. My foot was turned out, and then I snapped it back in, because the kneecap had already shattered.

With the uncertainty surrounding his future, Koepka decided to take the financial sanctuary of the LIV Golf tour, though has since expressed some regret in that decision. 

One thing is certain though, Brooks remains a top-tier golfer who has turned on his form at the right time as we progress further into the Major season.
Rather remarkably, Koepka has won 14% of the majors he has played, in a quarter of them he has finished in the top three and in half of them he has been top 10.

Despite the fanfare surrounding Brooks Koepka, there was an equally big story brewing with a certain club pro, Michael Block, who became one of the stories of the Championship.

After scoring back-to-back 70s, Block made the cut and was paired with Rory McIlroy on the final day prompting his own social media hashtag #BlockParty.

Just to make the cut and to be involved would have been a story in of itself, however the 46-year-old club pro continued a remarkable week at Oak Hill with an incredible hole-in-one on the 15th in his final round.

Block would then go on to play perhaps his most important shot on the 18th to save par, a superb blind chip put him within 8 yards of the pin which he would go onto to calmly sink, leading to rapturous applause from the crowd and a well-earned hug from McIlroy. 
He would end up on +1 after 4 rounds, tied-15th which earned the 46-year-old American a spot in next year's PGA field, an invitation to the PGA Tours Charles Schwab Challenge, as well as a cool $288,333.00.

The club pro currently teaches at his home club of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California and charges $125 for a 45-minute lesson as a golf instructor, meaning that his win is worth just over 2,306 lessons at his standard rate, or approximately 1,729 hours of teaching. 
Elsewhere, Hovland gave his major credentials a boost, making it more and more likely that it is now just a matter of time until we see him lift one of the big ones. Scottie Scheffler returned to world number one by finishing joint second with the Norwegian on -7. 
Rory McIlroy maxed his return to finish tied seventh despite his patchy form of late. More was expected of the current Masters champion John Rahm who had an off week despite making the cut, while Justin Rose's top 10 showed why he will be an asset to Europe when he returns to the Ryder Cup team later this year.

Cam Davis, Kurt Kitayama,  and Sepp Straka, each earned their first top-10 in a major while defending PGA champion Justin Thomas (T65) posted rounds of 72-73-75-72, marking the first time he has posted four over-par rounds in a major.

TAGS: PGA Championship, PGA Tour, LIV Golf, Brooks Koepka, Oak Hill, 2023